A massive 18-metre tall condom will cover one of Sydney’s landmarks for the next seven days as part of a bold new HIV prevention campaign.
The giant hot pink condom will sheath the heritage-listed Hyde Park Obelisk, located at the intersection of Elizabeth St and Bathurst St in the CBD.
For a week, the installation will help to raise awareness among gay men about how they can help end HIV transmission in New South Wales by 2020.
The 157-year-old heritage-listed obelisk will be covered for a week and packets of condoms have been strewn around the structure, bearing the message: “Test more + treat early + stay safe = ending HIV”.
ACON CEO Nicholas Parkhill said the obelisk was in a high-traffic area and was deliberately chosen to “turn lots of heads and raise a few eyebrows”.
Parkhill said the need for gay men to “stay safe” by using condoms is at the core of ACON’s strategy for eliminating HIV transmission by the end of the decade.
“We won’t be able to achieve this goal unless fay men use condoms when they’re having high-risk sex with causal partners, particularly in situations where are partner’s HIV status isn’t known – it’s that simple,” he said.
He said that while 44 per cent of gay men in the area report always wearing a condom when having sex with casual partners, research from the University of New South Wales’ Centre for Social Research in Health had found the number of gay men not always using a condom during casual encounters had increased by around 20 per cent in the last 15 years.