Imagine if just before you hooked up with someone new you received a Foursquare-esque notification telling you how many other people had “checked-in” with your partner.
A new public service announcement from the HIV Foundation/AIDS Council of Finland has created a PSA doing just that. Things are getting heated between a couple when the dude starts to pull down his boxers…and up pops a message saying “Cathy Mills and 34 others were here,” followed by a reminder to use a condom.
Making people think about their sexual partners previous sexual activity and encouraging condom use is all good. But this ad focuses a lot on someone’s “number” rather than talking about your sexual history. Yes, if you’re having sex with someone that’s previously had sex with 34 people it’s probably a good idea to use a condom. After all, it’s always a good idea to use a condom. What the Foursquare-esque approach doesn’t suggest, is that someone with five partners could have had unprotected sex with all people, putting themselves at risk of transmitting STIs. In my opinion, that should be the point of the ad, and all others promoting condom use.
Whether you’ve had sex with 2 people or 22 people, that conversation is what’s really important. You should be using condoms if you’re having sex with someone new. End of story.