Prophylactic powerhouse Durex is calling for the creation of a condom emoji to help young people insert safety into their texts about sex.
The British company says the "#CondomEmoji" campaign is timed to coincide with Dec. 1 World AIDS Day. The company says its research shows that 80 percent of people ages 18 to 25 find it easier to express themselves with emojis and 50 percent regularly use emojis when discussing sex in texts.
The company said 84 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds surveyed said they are more comfortable talking about sex in emoji form.
The survey found about a third of respondents said they do not care about safe sex, but about half said they don't expect HIV to affect them or anyone they know.
"In light of this research, the Durex brand is asking 1 million people to use and share the hashtag #CondomEmoji to represent their support of the creation of the world's first official safe sex emojis by the Unicode Consortium," said Karen Chisholm, marketing director for Durex USA. "Emojis of this sort 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."
The company said it plans to officially submit a safe sex condom emoji to the Unicode Consortium, which is responsible for choosing official emoji characters, on World AIDS Day.
"While many may feel uncomfortable having honest conversations about safe sex, an official condom emoji is a simple step towards empowering young couples to ignite the conversation around safe sex, better protection and overall sexual wellbeing," Chisolm told the website Bustle.
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