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CFC in the News - 2008

RH Reality check

New Radio Ads Say, Good Catholics Use Condoms

Jon O'Brien and Silvia Henriquez

1 December 2008

On this World AIDS Day, Catholics for Choice and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health are thrilled to announce the launch of the first-ever Condoms4Life radio ads. The two Spanish-language ads take on myths about condom use in Catholic and Latino communities and aim to highlight the importance of condom use and that Good Catholics Use Condoms. The radio campaign launches today in New York City and will roll-out nationwide in 2009.

Using its core message of "Good Catholics Use Condoms," the radio ads present a positive message to sexually active Catholics about responsibility and caring for others. The ads appeal to people of faith with one of the 60-second spots stating: "I'm Catholic and there is nothing more important to me than protecting family and love. That's why I talked to my grandson about condoms." The ads aim to remind people of faith that taking care of yourself and caring for each other means using condoms when you are sexually active.

Despite a fierce misinformation campaign waged by the Catholic hierarchy, we know that Catholic people the world over use condoms to prevent the transmission of HIV. Catholics use condoms because we know it is the responsible, loving and caring thing to do.

The first ad features a grandmother speaking about her grandson, a gay man, who hears that Catholics are not supposed to use condoms. She tells her grandson, "I took care of you because I love you and if you love that man, you'll take care of him, too."

The second ad features a couple and models language that couples can use when discussing the importance of love, faith and condom use in their relationship. The ad concludes, "We are Catholics and people of faith and we know sex is sacred and that we need to take care of each other. And this means using a condom every time we have sex."

We are delighted to be partnering on this innovative radio campaign because we are committed to making sure that that the younger generation of Latinos, who did not experience the scourge of AIDS in the 1980s and 1990s, are making sure that sex is safer and that our partners and ourselves are protected.

Working together, we recognize the special challenges Latino communities experience. Latinos represent almost 20 percent of new HIV infections occurring in the United States and young Latinas are twice as likely to face an unintended pregnancy as the general population. The Latino community faces many health disparities and it is time that we protect ourselves and our partners.

Largely because our religion has not always been honest about sex, there exists an embarrassed silence around condom use. It is our hope that we can show Catholic and Latino communities that it is time to break the silence and proclaim, as these ads do, that good Catholics use condoms. We want our communities to know that using condoms is one of the many ways that we can be proactive and make smart decisions about our sexual health.

To listen to the ads or for more information, visit www.Condoms4Life.org

 

This article originally appeared in RH Reality Check.