Condoms are very much in style as a fashion accessory at the International AIDS Conference in Toronto, showing up on strait-laced men, shy teenagers and African grandmothers.
"There's a great need to de-stigmatize condoms around the world, especially in Africa," Executive Director of The Condom Project, Franck DeRose said.
The project aims to get people comfortable about condoms, especially those living in countries where the little piece of latex is considered taboo.
To do that, the project has a program that gets people making their own condom art pin. It all starts with a craft table, packaged condoms, scraps of coloured paper, candy and other double-sided tape.
Toronto resident Maria Parish, 58, was making hers with a blue condom and blue and yellow paper. "I want something to symbolise the flag of Ukraine," she said. "I am of Ukrainian descent and AIDS is a global problem," she added.
|A dress made of coloured condoms|
DeRose said that creating wearable art out of condoms attracts people who normally wouldn't wear the prophylactics, let alone touch them or even utter the word.
"It opens the door," said DeRose. "We find that we're very, very successful," he added.
Almost 4,00,000 condoms have been decorated and turned into brooches or pins around the world including India, Thailand, Senegal and Burkina Faso, he said.