Enormous condom to promote safe sex

30th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

30 July 2007, AMSTERDAM (AP) - Concertgoers at a festival in the Dutch city of Lichtenvoorde were treated to an unusual sight Friday: a pink hot air balloon 38.7 metres high, shaped exactly like a condom, drifting lazily across the sky.

30 July 2007

AMSTERDAM (AP) - Concertgoers at a festival in the Dutch city of Lichtenvoorde were treated to an unusual sight Friday: a pink hot air balloon 38.7 metres high, shaped exactly like a condom, drifting lazily across the sky.

The balloon, with the words "Vrij Veilig" - Dutch for "Safe Sex" - emblazoned on it, was launched by the public health service in the eastern district of Gelre-Ijssel, near the German border.

The director of the health service, known by its Dutch acronym GGD, said the festival was an ideal opportunity to reach young people. More than 80,000 are expected to attend the three-day Zwarte Cross event - a combination motor-cross race and hard rock concert, with Dutch gothic metal band "Within Temptation" as the headline act.

"This is a playful way of asking for attention to the problem of sexually-transmitted diseases, HIV and AIDS," said Laurent de Vries.

Nurses on the concert grounds were also handing out educational material and free condoms as part of the campaign, he said.

But how did the GGD come up with the idea?

"Sometimes when kids play with condoms they blow them up like balloons," De Vries said. "I was toying around with that thought and that's when I got the idea to try to make a hot air balloon in the form of a condom."

It took three months to design and construct the balloon in Bristol, England, and 10-15 minutes for workers from Virgin Balloon Flights Benelux BV to fill the balloon with hot air.

Organisers said they plan to submit the balloon to Guinness Book of World Records in the category of "World's Biggest Condom."

[Copyright AP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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