Facing up to condom use

Coinciding with World AIDS Day, the Cayman Islands Red Cross and Cayman AIDS Foundation launched the Faces Campaign Thursday to promote condom use.

The campaign centres around posters showing a person’s face, with the names of all his/her sexual partners written on it. The accompanying message says: ‘Nobody has the truth written on their face. Protect yourself. Use a condom.’

The campaign was first launched in Panama where is has reached more than 500,000 people, according to John Fleming, regional health delegate for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The launch in Cayman marks the first time the posters will be displayed in English.

‘I’m delighted to have the opportunity to launch it here. The campaign will have six different posters that we hope will represent the melting pot here,’ Mr. Fleming said.

Carolina Ferreira, Red Cross programmes manager and CAF operations manager, described the campaign.

‘Like all good social marketing campaigns, this one is also targeted at a very specific population: sexually active persons. The key message is ‘if you are having sex with multiple partners, protect your self by wearing a condom,” she said.

Ms Ferreira plans to have the posters displayed all around Cayman.

‘As this is essentially a visual campaign, the focus will be on the visibility of these posters. Our first step will be the distribution of the posters in the community, from the schools to the local businesses,’ she said.

The eventual aim is to target more public areas such as bus stands throughout the islands, Ms Ferreira added.

Minister for Health and Human Services Anthony Eden, who attended the launch, spoke of the significance of the campaign. He compared it to the breast cancer awareness campaign which promotes education as a means of achieving early detection.

‘The best way to success is through educating young people, as well as everyone else.

‘I personally believe that abstinence is best, or being in a monogamous relationship,’ Mr. Eden said.