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Worrying new figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre have revealed rising rates of young people being diagnosed as HIV positive in Ireland.

An expert described how sixteen people were diagnosed last week with the illness, and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases is at an "alarming" rate.

The age group of 20-year-olds until the age of 29 are the age group at high risk of getting an infection.

Concern’s team leader for health and HIV Breda Gahan said:

“I’m thinking of those 16 people who got that big blow of news last week and how it will affect them in terms of travelling, future job prospects, stigma and treatment.

“I would say unfortunately the stigma has increased both in Ireland and globally. On top of that, who are you going to tell? Are you going to tell your partner or your ex partners or family? No one wants to carry the burden alone," Breda continued.

“I don’t want to frighten people or say if you have sex you’re going to get HIV that’s not the case. But people don’t realise a lot of the cases of HIV are home grown.”

Even though there is access to free treatment for AIDS in Ireland, Gahan feels that the Government need to do more to raise awareness about the disease.

“HIV prevention is failing, it just hasn’t been invested in despite the increasing number of infections. The Government should get those who have the skills to travel to primary schools to work with those who are age appropriate."

Gahan added;

“Education is the social vaccine. Girls and boys need to understand how to protect themselves from life-threatening infections. There is a serious lack of accurate information, there’s a lot of myths and misconceptions.

“We also need to make services more adolescent and user friendly. No one wants to go to an STI clinic.”

Recent figures from the HPSC report show that 239 cases of HIV have been reported so far this year.  4,193 people have contracted chlamydia, 1,341 have gonorrhoea, and 793 have herpes.

In comparison to last year, Ireland has seen an increase of almost 1,200 infections.

Breda Gahan explained the reason for the apparent lack of concern among youth:

“There’s an increase in STIs among young people because of complacency and people aren’t dying so there’s less fear. Young people don’t really care if they get an STI because it’s treatable.”

The expert says that we need to start educating children in primary school aged 10 to 12; 

“As a nurse, I would go as far to say that it’s too late to educate kids at secondary school level. Hormones are hopping at that age.

“It’s alarming and concerning to see the increase of numbers. No sex can be totally safe – there’s always some risk, for example a condom breaking. But there needs to be education about safer sex.”

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Research has discovered that ONE IN THREE women have heard the classic excuse of the condom being "too small to use."

We're feelin' pretty smug at this news, but we thought it would be three in three, to be honest…

A study has proven that just FOUR percent of people experienced problems with the condom legitimately not being big enough to use, despite so many women hearing the excuse. LOL.

golden girls condom GIF

Scientists were seeking to dispel the fallacy through their testing of condom sizes with an air compressor, and found that the condoms expanded to well over the average penis size.

The NHS and King's College London have previously said that the average size is 5.16 inches long.

However, engineering firm SGS Engineering maintain that the condoms measured roughly THREE FEET LONG by one foot wide when inflated to full capacity, so it seems a lot of men are telling fibs.

the 40 year old virgin hand GIF

A spokesperson for the engineering company who tested the barrier contraceptive said: “The condom, when inflated, would be approximately the same size as an Alsatian.”

A DOGGO. A REAL-LIFE BIG SIZED DOGGO. Let that sink in for a minute.

Researchers talked to 1,000 people in the UK to discover common attitudes to condom use, and found that only one-third of sexually active 18-24 year olds use condoms, and just 41 percent of sexually active folk across all age ranges use them. Alright then, do you want a baby/STI? Did you not see Mean Girls?

sex ed GIF

70 percent of those who were quizzed said they don't use a condom every time they have sex because they use another contraceptive method, such as the pill (24 percent of y'all are smart), withdrawal method (13 percent of y'all are stupid) and sterilisation (10 percent).

This is next level absurd; one in ten people said they didn't use condoms because of the WEIRD SMELL.

20 percent said the reason was discomfort, while 16 percent said it was because they reduced the pleasurably sensation, and 8 percent said they 'forgot'. Fools.

However, of the 70 percent of people who cited another contraception being used, one third just assumed that this was the case but there wasn't any proof. Mmmkay then. 

Half of people experienced an unplanned pregnancy because they didn't use condoms. See? Sex Ed is IMPORTANT people.

Condoms are up to 98 percent effective at protecting against STIs and unwanted pregnancies, 15 percent of people in the survey said they didn't trust condoms for fear of splitting.

Only three percent if these worries are based on this happening to them previously though.

andy samberg flirting GIF

A spokeswoman for SGS Engineering, Natalie Richardson, commented on the results;

 “The findings were surprising – particularly how anti-condom some men seemed to be, despite them not considering any other contraceptive methods."

“Potentially women are being told the excuse as a way of avoiding condom use because of sensation reasons. However, in most cases the risks far outweigh the benefits of ‘increased sensation’,” she added. Damn right they do.

happy the simpsons GIF

Ian Green of sexual health service organisation Terrence Higgins Trust said that the best way to protect against STIs remains to use condoms;

“There is the right condom out there for everyone. Penises come in a whole range of different shapes and sizes – and condoms do too. For example, if you do find standard condoms too small, then you should try a king size option."

“Last year we saw big jumps in rates of both gonorrhoea and syphilis, which is why more needs to be done to promote condom use, the range of different shapes and sizes available, and the importance of regular testing," he continued.

"This is particularly true among groups most affected by STIs in this country, which includes young people, gay and bisexual men, and people from BAME (black, Asian, and minority ethnic) communities.” 

The Family Planning Association, said regular sized condoms are suitable for most penis shapes and sizes.

Karen O’Sullivan, who has 30 years of experience working in sexual health wrote : “We would advise anyone who knows that regular condoms aren’t suitable for them, for whatever reason, to carry appropriate options with them so they can have safe sex."

Sexual health provider SH:24 said health providers need to move away from the “one size fits all” contraception mentality.

“When patients come into a clinic, they can often assume all condoms are the same size so we also want to see better education around choices and how to use condoms properly,“ they said.

It just goes to show, we need to massively step up when it comes to sexual health education, because myths are still circulating.

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Gwyneth Paltrow is releasing a brand new 'dirty weekend away sex kit' on her website, Goop, and it is worth a damn FORTUNE.

The set includes condoms, vegan lubricant, massage oil, sex toys and all the sexual health information you could possibly need.

Oh yeah, it also contains a 24-carat-gold sex toy. As you do.

She recently married 47-year-old TV producer Brad Falchuk, and has commented before on her 'great and satisfying' sex life. Brag much?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gwyneth Paltrow (@gwynethpaltrow) on

The website's first 'sex Issue' was published in May 2016, which included a kinky toy buying guide, and advise on sexual preferences. 

She has now put together the dirty weekend away kit, with a massive spending allotment, but it's the thought that counts, right?

The Balmyard Beauty Romantic Call Body Oil boasts antioxidant coconut, shea, sweet almond, and hibiscus-seed oils is on the list, and works hard to leave your skin soft and glowy.

It's a shame it's priced at $82…

Imagine being able to afford a SOLID GOLD dildo worth $3500. Just imagine.

She includes the Betony Vernon Marabou Pleasure Puff Ring, with intricate marabou feathers, on her list. The item is worth a jaw-dropping $673.

The Maude Rise Condoms are 100% natural latex, and is the most affordable item in the kit, costing just $12. A bargain…

The vegan Unbound Jelly lubricant is made from 95% organic ingredients and is also vanilla-scented for good measure.

Last but by all means not least, the Lelo Olga sex toy is comprised of 24-carat gold and warms to your body temperature internally.

Gwyneth is extremely open about her sex life, and recently discussed the importance of sexual health while speaking to Glamour

The actress wed her second husband in a beautiful ceremony back in September commented on emphasising women's sexual lives through Goop.

We don't doubt that her and Brad are enjoying married life, if her sex kit is anything to go by. We commend her great attitude to banishing shame from sex. All women deserve great sexual health.

The website says the sundries are a must-have for a 'Romantic (and Sexy) Weekend', stating; “These five clean, nontoxic essentials are virtually guaranteed to ignite and/or reenergise sexual vibes.” Spicy, Gwyneth, very spicy.

Paltrow has attributed her newfound glow and warmth to her new beau.

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It's time to double check your johnnies.

A recall for two types of Durex condoms, Durex Real Feel – Latex-Free and Durex Latex Free Polyisoprene has been issued by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA).

It comes after fears arose over the affected condoms potentially bursting as they come closer to the end of their shelf life. 

If you have purchased "Durex Real Feel – Latex-Free" and "Durex Latex Free Polyisoprene" condoms, please check their batch number to see if they are amongst the recall.

The batch number for the Latex Free are as follows: Durex Latex Free 12-Pack – Sku number 3014272: Batch numbers 1000444367 – expiry February 2021 and 1000433145 expires January – 2021.

As for Durex Real Feel 12-Pack: the Sku number is 3014277 –  Batch numbers 1000419930 January 2021, 1000444367 February 2021 and 1000416206 December 2020.

The HPRA is urging consumers to check the date at the bottom of the outer packaging and the brand.

You should also check the foil wrapping to see if they are amongst the recall batch.

If you are in possession of the condoms with the brands/batch numbers, the authorities have advised people to “immediately discontinue the use of the affected product” and return them to the store where they were purchased for a full refund.

The regulatory authority has cautioned that six and 18 pack boxes of the Real Feel condoms on sale in the UK could be on Irish shelves. 

The HPRA is “requesting consumers to also check the below list of batch numbers. Although the HPRA have received no confirmation to date that the following batch numbers are on the Irish market, we strongly believe these products may have reached the Irish market,” its statement warned.

The batch numbers for the UK products are Durex Real Feel six pack: 1000438054, Durex Real Feel 12 Pack: 1000444370, 1000474804. Durex Real Feel 18 Pack: 1000434066, 1000430479 and Durex Real Feel 18 Pack (RF Tag): 1000430479

Safe sex is sexy!

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Your sexual health is more important than ever, as latest figures show an increase in sexually transmitted infections.

In response to the concerning rise, HIV Ireland, in collaboration with Durex is launching its Just Carry One initiative.

Be prepared to see half of our beloved Dublin Buses transformed into hubs of information reminding us to practise safe sex.

If you aren’t already, it’s time to buckle down and get serious about safe sex as 10 people in Ireland are diagnosed with HIV every week.

Furthermore, 2017 saw a 10 percent increase in STI notifications compared to 2016 in Ireland.

Chlamydia cases climbed by 7.6 percent and gonorrhoea grew by 15.6 percent.  

Reports of genital herpes also rose by 14.2 percent.

The age group which have the highest rate of STIs are people aged 15 to 24 years of age.

According to research, they account for half of the chlamydia diagnoses, 39 percent of gonorrhoea cases, and 38 percent of genital herpes cases.

Additionally, Durex found 68 percent of Irish people in the 18-24 age group have never had an STI check.

Another one in 10 have experienced an STI scare.

The campaign will be running from June 22 to July 6 and will promote the use of condoms EVERY time you have sex.

You can avail of a free packet of condoms when you pop into HIV Ireland’s offices.

Condoms are the ONLY form of contraceptive to protect against STIs, including HIV.

If you fancy a chance at winning a special Durex goodie bag on HIV Ireland’s social medias, just answer the question – ‘How do you carry yours?’

Remember there is nothing sexier than safe, consensual sex.

If you’re concerned about your sexual health, talk to your GP and organise an STI check.

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Worrying new research has shown that Irish people have a seriously laid-back attitude when it comes to sexual health.

A new study conducted by Durex as part of its 'Wrap Up' campaign found that some 49 per cent of Irish people have had sex without protection against STIs, while just 27 per cent of us are making a conscious effort to prevent the transmission.

The research comes at a time when the HSE reports a rise of Chlamydia, Herpes and Gonorrhea amongst youths year on year, with the later having  increased by over 50 per cent between 2015 and 2016 alone.

Despite well over two-thirds of 18-24 year olds saying they feel confident in their knowledge of how to protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases, Durex's recent findings suggest that just 27 per cent use any form of contraception against STIs at all.

So, why do we decide to takes risks when it comes to sexual health?

Here's the top three reasons cited by respondents.

1. “Confidence the other person is not carrying an STI” (35 per cent)

2. “The thought simply didn’t cross my mind” (23 per cent)

3. “Taken over by the heat of the moment” (35 per cent)

Reports show that  20–29-year-olds are most likely sufferer from an STIs, with The Health Protection Surveillance Center’s (HPSC) latest findings (October 2017) showing  the age group account for over half (58 per cemt) of diagnoses. 

What's more, Durex's findings also found that just one in six Irish women have ever purchased condoms – and of those who do to use them, only 37 per cent admit to using them every time they have sex. 

Speaking about the recent findings, Dr. Jack Lambert, Consultant in Infectious Disease and Genitourinary Medicine at The Mater Hospital, commented: “The rise in sexually transmitted diseases such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Herpes in the past 12 months is a clear reflection of young people’s casual attitude to preventing the spread of STIs. Youths are incredibly liberal in terms of behaviour but the same approach is not taken in terms of carrying out regular STI checks."

"The surge in recordings of STIs year on year reflects several behavioural changes, with no two cases being the same. However, what can be taken from the recent findings is a need for further education on the matter and an open conversation when it comes to safe sex, not only with regards to preventing pregnancy but also STIs.”

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So, as examples of poorly executed graphic designs go, we reckon this condom wrapper may be at the top of the list.

One reddit user shared an image of a condom which had been handed out on a college campus, appearing to be branded with the words “Go further without consent” alongside a picture of a rather out-of-place donut.

And as you can probably guess, the image sparked outrage among social media users. 

“Who approved this?” one wrote, while another asked: “How did they arrive at this final product?”

The wrapper is literally telling people to continue with sexual acts whether their partner has consented or not, right?

Well, not quite.

See, the little donut in front on the text actually stands for the words 'Do Not' (apparently), and is part of Say It With a Condom's Consent range.

While the addition of those two, all-important words completely change the message, no one can be blamed for thinking it meant quite the opposite.

We're glad it's all cleared up, but to be honest, we're really struggling to understand how the condom even made it into the production in the first place.

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With Unicode refusing to create an actual condom emoji to protect sexters’ beloved aubergines, the world’s leading sexual health brand has sourced an umbrella-shaped loophole.

To mark World AIDS Day 2016, Durex is encouraging the public to share the “Umbrella with Raindrops” emoji as an unofficial symbol of safe sex.

A recent survey conducted by the contraception giant revealed more than 75 percent of 16 to 35-year-olds use emojis when discussing sex.

And with almost half of that age group believing HIV could never affect them – despite 2.1 million people becoming infected with the virus in the last year – it seem sexters are in desperate need of anything which encourages the promotion of safe sex.

Speaking of the venture, Durex Global Category Director, Volker Sydow, said: “At Durex we believe that for this World AIDS Day identifying the unofficial safe sex emoji is an important step that helps to empower young people to put safe sex back on the agenda, supporting the fight to reduce the spread of HIV and AIDS.”

“We are asking people to show their support for the cause by using this unofficial safe sex emoji and sharing the hashtag #CondomEmoji.”

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As we all know, sex is a two-way thing. Pleasing your partner is equally as important as ensuring you get your kicks when it comes to the no-pants-dance, right?

Well, astonishingly, Durex revealed in a recent survey that 74% of adults report a total lack of sensitivity when it comes to using condoms, and furthermore, a lot of people then worry that sex is way less enjoyable because of it.

We can do better than that, can't we?!

Well, the condom brand that has been taking care of us for over 80 years certainly think so, and have just released a new 'invisible' condom – Durex's thinnest ever.

With a new super premium look, Durex iNViSiBLE is now available in Extra Sensitive and Extra Lubricated variants – all so we can have some really great sex.

It totally maximises the sensation, and with a high level of protection, you're totally good to… erm, go.

Durex iNViSiBLE condoms are available from all major retailers nationwide, and retail at €18.99 for a pack of 12.

Hop on it, ladies. 

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While we all know the importance of a man wearing the correct sized condom, it is essential to know that there IS condom out there for any and every penis size. Some guys need reminding of this!

The next time you hear a guy claim he is ‘too big’ too wear a condom, you need to take a leaf out of this singer’s book.

Zara Larsson, a 17-year-old famous singer from Sweden, shared a hilarious photo on her Instagram account that instantly put all those men in their place. Writing: “To all the guys saying “my dick is too big for condoms” TAKE A SEAT”, the singer shared a photo of a condom put over her foot and pulled halfway up her leg. Brilliant!

 

To all the guys saying "my dick is too big for condoms" TAKE A SEAT

A photo posted by Zara Larsson (@zaralarsson) on

And if any guy tries to refute this claim? You may want to bring him to the doctor’s office instead…

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This Buzzfeed video compares the complex world of female contraception with buying condoms – and it really opened our eyes!

It seems all of the pressure for safe sex lies on us women – but didn’t we already know that?

This also leaves wondering where we stand on male contraception pill – would you trust your man to take a pill to avoid pregnancy?

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