INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY: DKT International Highlights Teens and Youth Ambassadors Educating Peers About Sex and Family Planning in 90 Countries Around the World

·4-min read

Teens educate other youth about STDs and HIV/AIDS, contraceptives, sexual violence, menstrual cycles & teen pregnancy

As the United Nations theme of International Youth Day 2020 "Youth Engagement for Global Action" highlights various ways young people are engaging with their peers, DKT International is proud to share its youth centered programming from around the world helping young people learn about their contraceptive options and the importance of their sexual and reproductive health from one another.

"Buying condoms is often considered an embarrassing experience for youth (let alone adults). DKT integrates key messaging on safe sex and condom usage with the information youth desire on a wide range of topics including pregnancy, STIs, contraceptive methods and ways to prevent HIV infection as well as relationship tips and answers to questions about sex, like orgasm and masturbation," says Chris Purdy, President and CEO of DKT International. "Additionally, DKT emphasizes the importance of contraception without sounding ‘preachy’ by leveraging information young people need on easily accessible social media platforms."

Youth outreach via social marketing and innovative campaigns promotes high-quality, low-cost contraceptives, increases overall awareness, and reaches new users of family planning. Recent youth-centric campaigns and initiatives include:

  • In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, DKT handed over the community management of their social media to Youth Ambassadors. In Whatsapp groups, the ambassadors communicate with other youth they’ve met during field outreach activities (including university students). Despite pandemic lockdowns, they continued education on topics like STDs and HIV/AIDS among youth, different contraceptives and their benefits, sexual violence, teen pregnancy, barrier gestures in the face of Covid-19, & understanding menstrual cycles.

  • In Vietnam, DKT has launched, "Replenish the Soul," a campaign centered around making the OK brand condom more youthful, fun and relatable to users through a variety of creative activities like emoticon app Zalo Sticker, creation of hand-drawn manga, seeding meme images, and working with influencers in the web comics space. With the new marketing and creative, DKT will also have displays in public and high traffic areas in universities and dormitories in Hanoi, Hochiminh, Danang and Binh Duong cities estimated to reach 500,000 students in six months.

  • In Brazil, back by popular demand, DKT relaunched the Prudence Condom Testers social media campaign for Valentine's Day this past June. Based on region, engagement and proximity to the brand, 300 people were chosen to receive kits filled with sexual health products, educational pieces, news and event launches. The campaign included social media and sending 50 kits to popular influencers whose posts were viewed by more than 8 million people. The recipients have a direct channel of communication with the Prudence brand condoms, where they will be able to provide feedback on products and campaigns and assist in qualitative research. In the past, Condoms Testers helped develop two best selling products of the brand "Morangão" big strawberry, a XL condom with color and taste, and the popular Prudence XL Thin condom.

  • In Nigeria, the teen-friendly website Honey & Banana provides information about sexual health, relationships, career development and motivation for young women and men. During Covid-19, the website showcases how contraceptives are an important tool, now more than ever, as unintended pregnancy can lead to health complications during this increasingly uncertain time. Additionally, the website has a ''clinic finder'' where young women and youth can obtain contraceptives and other reproductive health services from staff trained by DKT to offer unbiased and youth friendly services.

"When reaching out to youth, DKT invests in marketing, programming, and educational resources to ensure high product visibility and availability," adds Purdy. "Safe sex just needs to be a part of the conversation. That’s why leveraging that interest and curiosity is an essential part of our health programming."

Since 1989, DKT International’s core mission has been to provide safe and affordable options for family planning and HIV prevention through social marketing in 90 underserved countries throughout Latin America, Africa, and Asia. In 2019, DKT generated 47 million CYPs through the sale of more than 805 million condoms, 93 million cycles of oral contraceptives, 13 million emergency contraceptives, 30 million injectables, 1.8 million implants, 4 million IUDs, 4 million medical abortion (MA) combipacks, and 222,000 MVA kits.

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Contacts

Katherine Ladner
Katherine@gcomworks.com