Durex Launches #Condomemoji Campaign to Create The First Official Safe Sex EmojiShow your support by using the official hashtag #condomemoji

Global leading sexual wellbeing brand, Durex, today launched an international campaign calling for the creation of the world’s first official safe sex emoji, ahead of World AIDS Day on 1 December 2015.

Research conducted by Durex reveals emojis play a vital role in young people’s conversation around sex with 80% of 16-25-year-olds finding it easier to express themselves using emojis and over half of the respondents regularly using emojis when discussing sex. 84% of 16-25-year-olds said they feel more comfortable talking about sex using emojis. More worrying is the rise in apathy towards engaging in safer sexual practices with over a third claiming not to care about safe sex. Further research showed nearly half think that HIV will never affect them or their friends. In light of this, Durex today launches a worldwide campaign to call for an official safe sex emoji to be created by the company behind emojis (Unicode).

Such an emoji will enable young people to overcome embarrassment around the discussion of safe sex, encourage conversation and raise awareness of the importance of using condoms in protecting against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV and AIDS.  Durex is calling for people to use and share the hashtag #CondomEmoji in support of safe sex. Durex hopes 1 million users will let their voices be heard over November so the support can be captured as part of the official submission to Unicode on World AIDS Day, 1 December 2015.

“Many young people have gained their sexual knowledge through their own sexual activity and searching the internet,” according to Dr Mark McCormack, Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Co-Director, Centre for Sex, Gender and Sexualities at Durham University. “While participants generally felt able to discuss safe sex within their romantic relationships, there was more uncertainty with new or potential partners. 80% welcomed the idea of the emoji to make the discussion of safe sex easier and more fun,” he explains

Volker Sydow, Global Director of Durex says “Durex believes in happier, healthier sex lives and World AIDS Day is a hugely significant reminder about the importance of safe sex. Looking at how influential messaging is in the development of relationships today, an official safe sex emoji is a simple and empowering step towards better protection and sexual wellbeing.”

Commercial Manager of Durex in Australia, Daniel Harsanyi added “Our aim is to empower young Aussies to have open and honest conversations about safe sex. We know that young people are more comfortable using emojis when talking about sex and the #CondomEmoji is one step in the direction of better communication about safe sex”.

Alarming Trend In Attitudes Towards Safer Sex

•    Over 56% of respondents claimed not to worry about safe sex with 53% feeling there was less interest in the subject these days and, more startlingly, over a third claiming not to care.
•    Further research from Durex and MTV found that 78% of 16-24-year-olds across Europe were sexually active but only 62% were using condoms and 4 in 10 had had sex with more than one person without a condom.  In fact, whilst 86% felt that we all have a responsibility to tackle HIV and AIDS, it seems they don’t feel they are the ones at risk with a quarter of respondents believing that it was only a problem that mainly affected people in Africa.