the CONDOM PROJECT
30 E. 20th Street, suit 504
New York, NY 10003 USA



The Condom Project works to destigmatize condoms. One primary tool we use is the creation and distribution of Condom Art Pins.

   

Working around a table filled with condoms, art paper, pins, and double-sided tape, TCP coordinators train volunteers on how to use visual art in order to educate their communities. Their task is simple. Using condoms with clear-backed packaging, everyone makes Condom Art Pins. The front side of the condom package is decorated while the transparent backing is left exposed so that the condom itself is visible through the packaging, further breaking down the mystery of condoms. The clear side of the Condom Art Pin showing the condom faces the body, a safety pin is attached, creating a piece of wearable art.

   

The creative process of making the Condom Art Pin provides TCP coordinators with a venue to cultivate dialog about the protective qualities of a condom. But first, we get people comfortable talking about condoms amongst themselves. While teaching them how to make the pins, people become comfortable with the simple aspect of holding the condoms, talking about the condoms and discussing other subjects related to their use. For some groups, just the act of using their hands to create something as beautiful as these pins can be therapeutic. For others, creating the time and a safe space to allow people to talk about condoms and subjects related to their use is what is most important. Feeling safe is essential in facilitating discussion about condoms and HIV, especially in communities where living with HIV/AIDS can result in social exclusion or even lifethreatening violence. Some choose to hide their HIV status since disclosure can lead to being shunned by a family or village. Even people who are well aware of condoms and how to use them can be shy about discussing anything related to sexual behavior. We've found that each community comes out of its shell in its own way.

   

With The Condom Art Pin program, the ice is broken and, condoms in hand, participants feel free to discuss their own ideas, misperceptions and myths surrounding condoms. Many participants even feel inclined to speak about the attitudes of their families, friends and partners regarding condoms, with discussions often crossing gender and generational barriers. While there is no directed sexually explicit dialogue in this program, TCP coordinators are able to successfully communicate and often demonstrate the durability, strength, and effectiveness of the condom.

The Condom Art Pin program provides a creative way to learn and have fun at the same time. At the end of each workshop, men and women alike are wearing the Condom Art Pins they have made, and openly speaking to each other about what they have learned. Thousands of volunteers have been trained by TCP through community AIDS awareness clubs at schools, religious settings, prisons, and through outreach to commercial sex workers, school children and parents. Bringing clear and accurate information about condom use to communities globally, The Condom Art Pin program is an important component in opening the door to discussion about condoms and the transmission of HIV.

This Program is currently operating in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Guinea, India, Nigeria, Senegal, Thailand, Togo and the United States. We have also conducted workshops in Benin, Japan, Sweden and the UK.


About the paper we use to make Condom Art Pins






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