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World's Biggest Condom to Take Off to Spread Safer Sex Campaign

What's billed as the world's biggest condom - a huge pink hot air balloon - is set Friday to fly above a Dutch festival to increase safe sex awareness .

The balloon - which organisers hope will enter the Guinness Book of records - was commissioned by seven local branches of the public medical services GGD at the Black Cross Festival in Lichtenvoorde, a small town near Almelo in the rural east of the Netherlands.

"Awareness is necessary because the number of people infected by sexually transmittable diseases continues to rise," a GGD spokeswoman said.

The balloon will also feature at a balloon festival in Joure, in the north of the Netherlands, as well as other music and theatre festivals in the coming months.

Sexually transmittable infections in the Netherlands are on the rise after being at an historic low following the AIDS upsurge of the 1980s.

Last year 69,000 Dutch nationals had themselves tested for sexually transmittable disease, 10 percent more than in 2005.

Among homosexual men, 22 percent tested positive for one or more such disease, while the figure was 12 percent for heterosexual men.


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