On the 15th of June, Irish Aids Day, myself, Lea Pepper and Catriona Finn set off to represent Irish Red Cross Youth (IRCY) at the launch of the Dublin AIDS Alliance “Just Carry One” campaign. The launch was held in the Mansion house with the attendance of many different organisations and Minister Roisin Shorthall.
As of last year there was a 3% decrease in the amount of new cases of HIV however small this may be it is welcome. The “Just Carry One” campaign is aimed at young people between the ages of 17 and 25. HIV is completely preventable but people only take notice after it’s happened when things have gotten worse. 30% of people aren’t aware of having it and are diagnosed too late. Young people are being urged more and more to get tested for STD’s or HIV/AIDS. There are centres across the country which offer free testing.
Dublin AIDS Alliance aims to promote the healthy prolonged usage of condoms; they give out 84 free condoms each week in their premises in Parnell Square. The new campaigns aim is to promote consistent condom use among young people aged 17 to 25 years to prevent the transmission of STIs. This campaign was developed in consultation with young people. It’s running from now until September.
In a “Just Carry One” pack you get one condom and a sachet of lube, it’s neatly packed so it fits into your pocket, handbag, wallet or whatever you’re carrying. There are 40,000 packs to be distributed during the campaign.
They are raising awareness about the campaign over Twitter “@JustCarryOne” and “#JustCarryOne” and on Facebook “Just Carry One”. They are running various competitions with amazing prizes! They also have a lot of short informative videos that really relay the facts effectively. During the day there were various speakers speaking on behalf of Dublin Aids Alliance, SpunOut.ie and Minister Roisin Shorthall herself.
The whole day was superb and so informative. There was a good turnout however myself and Lea we’re 2 of the only ones who were within the target audience. I would like to thank Irish Red Cross Youth for giving us the opportunity to attend.
Written by Gary Gaughan, Irish Red Cross Youth Member