Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest is trying out a new tactic to promote safe sex: Condoms that come with a QR code sticker for tracking sexual activity.
The goal of this initiative, called Where Did You Wear It?, is to have teenagers post and record the location of their sexual activity online via a link found in each QR code.
Don’t get too weirded out yet – It definitely sounds strange at first, but it starts to make more sense once you learn about the initiative. An article on Zdnet explains, “Once users scan the barcode through a smartphone, they are connected to a mobile website. Once logged in, teenagers (or anyone for that matter) can anonymously ‘check in’ their sexual encounter.”
‘Checking in’ involves answering a few questions (anonymously) that include, city and state, age, relationship status, why you wear condoms (choices include to prevent pregnancy/STDS, and because my partner tells me to) and how the sex was, (choices include “Ah-ma-zing, pretty good, fair, and things can only improve from here.)” Once the data is inputted, teens can see a map that shows where others have been sexual active as well.
Okay, but how is that going to promote safe sex? The article went on to say, “The concept behind the map and publicly-searchable record is to show that safe sex happens, and to try and promote it by normalizing condom use, and perhaps by appealing to teenage natures by making a game out of a necessity.”
“Condoms are an essential tool in preventing unintended pregnancy and stopping the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV,” said Nathan Engebretson, PPGNW New Media Coordinator. “We hope the site promotes discussions within relationships about condoms and helps to remove perceived stigmas that some people may have about condom use. Where Did You Wear It? attempts to create some fun around making responsible decisions.”
This has to be the most interesting use of QR codes that I’ve heard of so far. What do you think of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest’s QR code/condom initiative?