Pennsylvania: Rubber Soul -- The Music's Hip-Hop, But Her Heart Is in the Condoms She Distributes
February 3, 2004
At hip-hop events, Deesha Dyer hands out packets containing condoms and safe-sex literature as part of Cover Your Lover, a program she started in 2003 to raise awareness about STD prevention. "The cause is close to my heart," said Dyer, who has been volunteering in the AIDS community since she was 14. "This is the best way to reach the adolescent crowd ... Some are aware, but they just don't realize how real the problem is."Adapted from:
Dyer, 26, relies on nonprofit organizations and her peers for funds and condom donations, she said. In addition to her full-time job as assistant to the vice president of a local real estate company, Dyer finds time to do her outreach work and be a contributing writer for B. Informed Magazine and the Web site phillyhiphop.com.
Hip-hop musicians talk boldly about their sexual escapades but rarely approach the topic of safe sex. Dyer thinks it is because people are more comfortable with "the glamour side of sex" than the preventative aspects of it.
Along with condom distribution, Dyer lectures teens and young adults about safe sex. She recently taught a sexual health class for teens and young adults in Achievement Through Community Service, Education, and Skill Building, a program for inner-city students of the Philadelphia School District. She also works in some of the city's impoverished neighborhoods.
Dyer said sexually active teens should know all the facts about STDs and always use protection. "You can be one situation away from being infected," she warned. For more information about Cover Your Lover, contact Dyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Philadelphia Daily News
01.29.04; Damon C. Williams
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.