The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) distributed 45,000 SHAG packs to colleges nationwide last week, as part of their national Sexual Health Awareness and Guidance (SHAG) Week campaign.
Each SHAG pack, which were distributed in the run up to Valentine’s Day, contained a condom, lube and some information on safe sex.
Having stirred up some controversy, the students’ group defended their decision to distribute condoms and denied that they were encouraging young people to engage in sexual activity.
USI Deputy President Denise McCarthy said the focus of the campaign was to “promote positive attitudes towards sex and raise awareness of all aspects of sexual health”.
McCarthy went on to say that talking about sex-related issues in Ireland is still a ‘taboo subject’ and the USI wanted to break through those barriers, encouraging “people to practice safer sex and to look after their sexual health”.
Riona Durkan, Brand Manager of Durex Ireland, said her company supported the campaign as they believe every student “has the right to good sexual health and good sexual health education”.
This year’s campaign also featured a sex education roadshow, which toured the country teaching students about contraception and how to prevent yourself from contracting an STI.
The roadshow featured interactive stands; workshops by ‘Dr. Sex’, Siobhan Higgins, doctor of sexual health promotion; as well as a show by the world’s only sexual health magician.
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