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Impulse Group DC, a local nonprofit that uses an “entertainment-based approach” to educate people about HIV and AIDS prevention, mental health, and substance use, and how those health issues impact the Black community, will host a virtual dance party on Feb. 11 in honor of International Condom Day.
Created by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, International Condom Day is celebrated annually on Feb. 13 and employs creative ways of encouraging people to make healthier sexual choices, such as memes shared on social media, parody videos (such as a drag queen singing “When You Wear a Condom” to the tune of “When You’re Good to Mama” from the hit musical Chicago) or public service announcements.
The message behind the day is to remind people that wearing a condom can prevent pregnancy and STDs, including HIV.
In past years, Impulse Group DC has partnered with AHF to hold in-person events marking the day. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the group is holding a virtual dance party called “VERS-US,” featuring music being spun by four different DJs: Apollo, Momoney, Honey, and Obie.
Admission is free, and the event will be live-streamed on Facebook from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Guests will be allowed to place requests for songs or comment on a DJ’s performance through Facebook Live.
Because there is no fee for admission, Impulse Group DC will be asking those more fortunate attendees of the dance party to donate to the group’s mental health fund to help provide therapy and counseling to those struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues.
DeVonte Whitson, the president of Impulse Group DC, says the group has been reaching out to followers on social media asking them to film short 60-second testimonial videos talking about the significance of International Condom Day and the importance of wearing condoms during sex.
Some of those videos will be aired during the DJ battle, while others will be shared on social media. Those who submit videos will be entered to win prizes, including T-shirts, a “Love & Get Lit” box, and other surprises just in time for Valentine’s Day.
“I live in D.C., and we’re well aware that the use of condoms is becoming a lost form,” Whitson told Metro Weekly in an interview. “Condomless sex is glorified through social media and porn. However, we still believe in the power of education as it pertains to protecting individuals against STIs like chlamydia. syphilis, and gonorrhea.
“You know, sex is fine. It’s exciting. It’s intriguing. It can be all of that. But it also has to be safe as well,” he adds. “It’s a common thing to hear from others that ‘raw is law.’ However, at Impulse, we’re here to educate, to say: ‘raw also has flaws.’ So it’s very important that we are spreading the message, delivering the education around condom usage.”
Impulse Group DC’s “VERS-US” virtual dance party will be streamed on Facebook Live from 7-11 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11. To RSVP, visit fb.me/e/dnuZz5x7G. For more information on Impulse Group and its work, visit impulsegrp.org or follow the organization on Twitter at @impulsegroupdc.
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