By: Melissa Colleary
In honor of World AIDS Day, the Long Island Association for AIDS Care participated in a three-day celebration at SUNY Old Westbury. The events were held during the campus’s common hour, which takes place daily from 2:30-3:50 p.m., in the Atrium of the Student Center. LIAAC cosponsored this event with Student Health Services.
In addition to LIAAC, Pride for Youth; Long Island Against Domestic Violence; Five Towns Community Center; and the SUNY Old Westbury chapter of Lambda Sigma Epsilon were in attendance. During these celebrations, LIAAC provided two tables full of information, condoms, and informative games to help interact with and share information about HIV, STIs, risky behaviors, and sexual health with as many students as possible.
LIAAC’s ECHO program used a small version of a game show wheel with questions such as “What is HIV?” and “How many drinks are in a binge?” to start a conversation with students about sexual health and risky drinking behaviors. For each correct answer, the participant won a World AIDS Day themed prize, such as a lanyard with the AIDS ribbon on it, a Red Ribbon rubber duck, or a Red Ribbon mini football.
LIAAC’s ECHO program also brought a game called “Drunk Condom” to the students of SUNY Old Westbury. This activity asked participants to wear a pair of “Fatal Vision” Drunk Goggles, which were loaned to LIAAC by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and attempt to put a condom on a demonstrator to show how difficult it can be to correctly put a condom on while intoxicated.
The most common error made by students was putting the condom on upside down, with some even tearing the condom. Drunk Condom sparked several discussions about condom use and safer sex practices. As you can hear in one of the videos, one student had never tried to put a condom on before, and others were unsure how to tell if it was on correctly.
When students completed a game of Drunk Condom, a member of LIAAC staff would perform a condom demonstration, explaining each of the steps necessary to put on a condom correctly. This led to discussions about how to talk to your partner about using condoms; sexually transmitted infections that can be contracted through oral sex; how to make a flavored condom into a dental dam; how to use an internal condom; why not to use a flavored condom for vaginal or anal sex; and the benefits of using PrEP for HIV prevention.
Throughout the course of these events, LIAAC tested 15 individuals for HIV, Hepatitis-C, and STIs. Additionally, LIAAC distributed over 900 condoms during the World AIDS Day celebrations.
To view photos and videos from our World AIDS Day events at SUNY Old Westbury, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/liaac.inc