The student organisation Project6 celebrates 25 years of teaching students about sexual health. They want to inform students about the many free ways one can protect ones sexual health in Sweden. And especially reach those who have not had much sexual education earlier in their life.
When Agnė Raščiūtė and her friends from Project6 join a party their arrival is often accompanied by various reactions: laughter, curiosity, shyness or pure joy about free giveaways. Rather than picking up drinks, Agnė hands out free samples of condoms and lube.
At events where everybody is looking to relax and enjoy themselves, the Project6 educators’ colourfully wrapped giveaways carry a serious note on the students’ sexual health. The action is called Condom Raid and Agnė explains:
“Students should know how and why to protect themselves. For those who have received a sexual education and know about sexually transmitted infections, and protection matters we are only reminding them of the importance of it through our Condom Raids. For those who do not it is very important that P6 exists.”
She means that this is especially important for some international students, who like her come from a background with very little or no proper sexual education. Sometimes these Condom Raids can be their first opportunity to raise questions regarding their sexual health.
Thankfully, Sweden provides a beneficial environment for sexual education: “Sexual health is not a shameful topic here”, Agnė notes. “Not only within the university but also within the public people have access to various forms of sexual education and risk prevention through schools or other organisations, professional midwives and doctors, and even access to free STI tests without any shame of your neighbour knowing about it”.
Project6 came about in the early 1990s as the recorded STIs started to increase among students. Studenthealth and the skin clinic started a peer education-project in order to challenge the trend. The idea was simple: Students educating students about sexual health. By now the organisation has taken on more tasks: “We are also trying to talk about gender, sexuality, and LGBTQ rights, to fight stigmas and prejudices surrounding sexuality.”
Talking with peers about these issues might sometimes be a tricky task. “Everybody is different – some want to approach us and are completely open – even thank us for doing this work” tells Agnė. “Others cannot even look at our table covered with condoms and lube and that is ok too. All we want is to create a safe space for everybody to raise questions. I do not want anybody to be afraid– we are young and it is our time to ask.“
Did you know…?
- You can get tested for any sexually transmitted disease for free in Sweden.
- Females under the age of 26 receive all types of contraception free of charge in Skåne. In order to receive consultation you need to book an appointment with a midwife (barnmorska).
- The morning after pill can be picked up at any pharmacy (apotek) without a doctor’s prescription.
- P6 helps you with all questions you have about your sexual health. If they do not know how to help you, they will be able to tell you who can. Visit their website at projekt6.se or go to the 4th floor of the AF building.
Text by: Kevin Witzenberger