Durex campaign shows how little Singaporeans know about sex

New AKA Asia work shines a light on an alarming lack of awareness around STIs and STDs.

Singaporeans have many strong suits—but talking about sex isn't one of them. In conjunction with World AIDS Day today, Durex—with the help of AKA Asia—takes to the streets to find out if local youth have the knowledge, tools and resources to make more informed decisions in the bedroom. Well, it turns out that people have been mostly winging it.

The campaign—in partnership with Action for Aids (AFA)—shows young residents fumbling over basic questions around STIs, STDs, and HIV. Some of the responses that came back were rather shocking:

"I feel like HIV, you still can cure it with medicine. Not really fully cure, but at least you can still avoid it? AIDS is... I don't know. I don't know if that's the right answer."

"We don't know much. All we know is that if you get sick after sex, you're basically gone."

"Gonorrhoea... is that even an STI? I'm not very sure. I cannot differentiate (between STIs and STDs)."

"I don't think you can catch STIs from oral sex."

"HIV refers to the method of transmission and AIDS refers to the condition. I think so, I'm not sure."

As part of the campaign, Durex is asking the community's help to donate 10,000 condoms to AFA by enabling Singaporeans to purchase a condom to give away with the aim of spreading the message of "good, safe sex for all". The 'buy a condom to give a condom' donation is available island-wide across all retail points.

Justin Lee, marketing director at Reckitt Benckiser Singapore, said: "Young Singaporeans especially need a safe space where they can learn about, talk about, and ask questions about sex, which is exactly why we're creating a space on the digital platforms they most frequently use to join us in an open and honest discussion without judgement."

According to an AWARE study, a majority of young people in Singapore do not feel comfortable talking to their parents about their sexual health with close to 60 percent saying their parents rarely encouraged them to speak their minds about sexual matters, or did not know if their parents would encourage them to.


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