Second annual Condom Fashion Show hopes to bring awareness to safe sex practices

November 28, 2016

Hannah Harvey

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     Although students’ fashion creations will not be featured at Paris Fashion Week, their designs, made completely out of condoms, will be featured on a runway at UCCS.

     The second annual Condom Fashion Show will be held in the Upper Lodge Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. The event, which is part of the 2016 Red Ribbon Campaign Week, will educate students on safe sex and HIV/AIDS awareness.

     The event is a collaborative effort between the LGBT Resource Center, the Wellness Center and the Office of the Dean of Students, who will serve “mocktails.”

     Teams must have a message about prevention and sexual health as one of the requirements for their outfits, according to Jesse Perez, LGBT program coordinator at MOSAIC.

     A spring 2013 survey conducted by the Wellness Center found that 44.3 percent of surveyed students did not use contraception the last time they had vaginal intercourse.

     “We’re really trying to break down that stigma that HIV/AIDS is isolated in the LGBTQ community, the Latino community or the black community, so that’s why we try to partner with lots of organizations, because it’s really meant to be educational,” said Perez.

     Last year, the Southern Colorado AIDS Project donated 60 percent of the condoms used by students. Around 200 students attended the event and the resource center felt that they had an impact, according to Perez.

     “At first we were a little hesitant, because this is something that in some people’s eyes is a little controversial,” said Perez.

     One Condoms, a Massachusetts-based condom company, donated 90 percent of the condoms that will be used by students in their outfit creations this year.

     Six teams will participate in the event, including members from the Latino Student Union and Spectrum, along with various student teams not affiliated with any clubs on campus.

     Students will win prizes in categories like best sexual health message or most creative design for a gift certificate to a restaurant so teams can celebrate together.

     Spectrum and the LGBT Resource Center are still looking for teams.

     The LGBT Resource Center holds the event in the Upper Lodge for a purpose: to reduce the discomfort in talking about safe sex among students on and off campus, said Perez.

     In the past, the LGBT Resource Center has attempted to hold educational events like HIV 101 workshops, but attendance has been low, said Perez.

     Educating others about safe sex is important to combat negative stigmas associated with sexual practices.

     “A lot of people, especially young people, don’t know the proper way to use condoms and that’s an issue as well,” said Perez.

     Students who are interested in forming a team, or would like more information on the event can contact the LGBT Resource Center at [email protected].