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Homearrow News and Events Year 2010 Candy and condoms raise HIV/Aids awareness - The Daily Collegian Online

Candy and condoms raise HIV/Aids awareness - The Daily Collegian Online

They come for the candy and stay for the condoms.

Every Wednesday during the fall and spring semesters, a table on the ground floor of the HUB-Robeson Center offers free candy -- and free condoms, safe sex information pamphlets and innovative little Condom-like barriers called "dental dams."

The table, called "Access to Protection," is sponsored by the HIV/AIDS Risk Reduction Advisory Council (HARRAC), a Penn State club aiming to reduce sexually transmitted diseases.

"We want to take away the stigma that sex isn't as good with condoms," club member Tiffany Tanzosh said. "It's better to be safe than sorry."

"Access to Protection" sets up every Wednesday on the ground floor of the HUB from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It offers a colorful selection of free Durex and Trojan condoms, female condoms, dental dams and information about sex and how to get screened for HIV/AIDS.

Suzanne Zeman, a community health educator for University Health Services' Health Promotion and Wellness department, said having students run the table is less intimidating to visitors, she said.

"It's always surprising when you talk to students about protection, because a lot of times they don't realize the free resources we provide," Zeman said.

. "A lot of times they just don't want to spend the money on condoms or barriers, but we have them for free."

But HARRAC does more than give out free condoms. The club also offers educational "sex parties" for groups like dorm floors and sororities, Tanzosh (senior-biobehavioral health and psychology) said.

One game students play at sex parties is the banana race.

"We have three bananas, three condoms and three contestants," Tanzosh said. "One person wears beer goggles, another is blindfolded and the third has no obstacles. Then they race to see who can put on a Condom the fastest."

She said the blindfold and goggles demonstrate that putting on a Condom is more difficult in the dark or while intoxicated.

But Jackie McCawley (junior-secondary education), who is waiting until marriage to have sex, said she thinks HARRAC's actions are unnecessary -- everyone knows what happens when you have sex, she said.

"It's kind of disrespectful for those of us who are waiting, because we do think about [sex], but we're trying to avoid it," she said. "Groups like this are overbearing when it's something we're trying to avoid."

Students can get the same free resources offered Wednesdays by "Access to Protection" every day at the Health Promotion and Wellness Department in 201 University Health Center.

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