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USI to distribute 45,000 ‘SHAG Packs’ & Urges Students to Practice Safer Sex

Whoever you like, love safer sex”, that’s the slogan for USI’s Sexual Health Awareness and Guidance (SHAG) campaign. The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) launches its annual sexual health campaign this week in collaboration with Durex, MSD and Think Contraception. The campaign, which will be rolled out in campuses across Ireland will be officially launched in the National College of Ireland (NCI) today at 12 noon.

45,000 SHAG packs will be distributed to college campuses nationwide. Each pack contains a condom, a sachet of lubricant and a ‘Talkoptions’ booklet on contraceptive options, along with information regarding safe sex and STIs. More information will also be available on shag.usi.ie – a website dedicated to informing third level students about safe sex.

USI, along with sexual health organisations will be visiting various campuses nationwide next week for a Sexual Health Education Roadshow. The Roadshow is intended to educate college students about their sexual health in the hope that students who are sexually active will have enjoyable, consensual, safer sex. Attractions for students include interactive and educational stands, promotion of STI tests and contraception choices, sexual health workshops by Dr. Sex (Doctor of Sexual Health Promotion, Siobhan Higgins) and a show by the world’s only sexual health magician.

 Sexual Health Roadshow:

10th Feb – NCI

11th Feb – IT Carlow

12th Feb – GMIT

13th Feb – DKIT

 Denise McCarthy, USI Deputy President/Vice President for Welfare:

“The focus of this campaign is to promote positive attitudes towards sex and raise awareness to all aspects of sexual health. Talking about sex related issues is still a taboo subject in Ireland and we want to break through these barriers and encourage people to practice safer sex and to look after their sexual health  Sexuality is an integral part of being human, whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, straight or however you define yourself. A healthy sexual relationship can contribute to an overall sense of wellbeing”.

Sinead Tuite, Patient Partnership, MSD:

“It is important that young women are informed about the wide range of contraceptive options available to them and that they discuss their personal needs and preferences with their doctor, in order to get the contraceptive option best suited to them.  Take the simple survey atwww.talkoptions.ie to explore the available options.  The results can be helpful to support further discussion with your doctor to identify the option that best suits your body and lifestyle”.

Riona Durkan, Brand Manager of Durex Ireland:

“Every student has the right to good sexual health and good sexual health education. As condoms are the only form of contraception that can protect against both pregnancy and STIs, we want people to feel comfortable using and talking about them. At Durex, we are committed to raising awareness of sexual health education and the importance of safer sex, which is why we are delighted to support the USI with such an important campaign.”

Organisations supporting the campaign:

Durex

MSD

Think Contraception

IFPA (Irish family planning association)

Dublin Aids Alliance

Crisis Pregnancy Programmes

Aids West

Rape Crisis Network

– ENDS –

For more information contact Grainne O’ Reilly, USI Communications and Research Executive on 0876776636  or email media@usi.ie.

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