Condom Day

India's first openly gay prince Manvendra Singh Gohil poses for a photo during an event to mark International Condom Day in New Delhi Feb. 13. The event was organized by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to promote the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and unwanted pregnancy through condom distribution and to create awareness of safe sex. (Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI — Condoms in all their forms, colors, dimensions and uses were on display at Connaught Place, the heart of Delhi, in celebration of International Condom Day, organized by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a global not-for-profit that encourages people to view and use condoms as an essential wardrobe item.

Imaginatively condom-clad mannequins were on display, advertising the organization's motto, 'condoms are always in fashion,' while boxes of condoms were placed all over so that people could help themselves to as many 'Love' Condoms – a brand that AHF distributes for free – as they liked . 

While three HIV testing booths attracted the largest number of attendees, with people eagerly waiting for their results, a man dressed as condom – or a 'condomoid' – helped people to see the essential shield as another plaything.

Simran Sheikh, the Delhi president of 'Impulse,' a group of gay people working in collaboration with AHF, told IANS condoms are a necessary tool to avoid contracting sexually transmitted diseases and that people who argue against the use of condoms are in the wrong. 

"The most common excuse that people give against using condoms is 'maza nahi aata' (it doesn't give enough pleasure) and it is wrong. It has been scientifically proven that there isn't much difference in pleasure derived whether you have sex with or without condoms," said Sheikh, who identifies herself as transgendered. 

Organizers also placed a 40-foot inflatable condom on display, which young people marked with their signatures amidst a series of flash mobs and rock band performances. 

"Stigma on condoms is very high in India, even today, often blaming it on cultural and religious sentiments and the myth that popularizing condoms in turn increases promiscuity in the population. 

"But the reality is... awareness campaigns on condoms increase 'risk perception' among masses and emphasize that condoms are the best protection too available for preventions of STIs, HIV and unwanted pregnancies," V. Sam Prasad, country program director of AHF India, said in a statement earlier. 

This was the 10th edition of Condom Day celebrated by the AHF. 

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