By Kim Na-hyun
"More than forty million people are infected globally. Domestic infection rate is more than 1.7 people per day." These statistics on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) infections, which is also known for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, have been repeatedly reportedly twice a day on the MBC public service advertisement, one which has also been publicly broadcasted since Oct. 1. Due to the rapid spread of AIDS, the Korean Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Korean Anti AIDS Federation (KAAF) decided to produce the advertisement and challenge the established taboo on the subject of condoms.
To approach viewers with a less offensive and friendlier image, the advertisement was shot to resemble a scene from a spy movie. The overall reaction has been positive, with comments saying that it is better to promote the use of condoms than to contract Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) from ignorance.
Health educator Kim Joo-young of the Health Service Center sees such response as a sign that sexual culture is changing. "Influx of American culture from movies and the Internet can be seen as the most influential cause of changing perception. Especially through the development of the Internet, people have become more open to the sexual culture."
Although it has become much easier for people to discuss sexual culture, proper sex education is still needed to correct misconceptions on condom usage. What educators especially emphasize to women is that, when they are expecting to have a sexual relationship, it is important to prepare a condom beforehand.
Ko Kyung-hi, a researcher at the Sexual Harassment Counseling Center says, ?ven if condoms are sold to men at pharmacies, convenience stores, and in public restrooms, do not expect him to prepare a condom for you. You should be the one to purchase it and ask your partner to put it on for protection because it is usually women who are the physical or emotional victims after unwanted and defenseless sexual intercourse.
To an earlier generation, sex education was about keeping one? virginity until meeting a soul mate. Today, there are still a few voices that advocate a return to the ideals of the past. "Sunshine Counselor" of the KAAF says, "Before recommending the use of condoms, I tell them to think about whether they both see the relationship equally and whether the relationship is truly based on love. If that is not the way they feel, I tell them to wait."