July 30, 2007
On Friday evening, a giant hot air balloon shaped like a condom floated above a festival in the Dutch city of Lichtenvoorde, a safe-sex message sponsored by Gelre-Ijssel district public health officials. The festival was an ideal venue to reach young people, said Laurent de Vries, director of the public health service. The balloon and its message, "Vrij Veilig" (Safe Sex), was "a playful way of asking for attention to the problem of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and AIDS," said de Vries. On the ground, nurses distributed educational material and free condoms. More than 80,000 people were expected to attend the three-day Zwarte Cross festival, which featured a motor-cross race and the Dutch gothic metal group Within Temptation headlining a rock concert.