Celebrating National Condom Week
From February 14-21 we celebrate National Condom Week; the perfect reason to talk to those around you about the importance of using condoms to prevent both STIs and unplanned pregnancies. Because only internal or external condoms protect from both. When used correctly, condoms are 98% effective.
Available everywhere from bathroom vending machines to drug stores, from health centers to the internet, and next to the register at the convenience store down the street, condoms are a bright spot of accessibly in the world of birth control. And, in addition to being easy to find, on average they cost only $1 to $2 per condom. Many health centers even provide them for free!
Using condoms allows people to take responsibility for their own protection. Yet, when we partnered with Cosmopolitan last year, we learned that even as sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates increase, 60% of those surveyed said that they rarely or never use condoms. They said they didn’t use condoms because they weren’t worried about STIs, their partner didn’t insist that they used one, or because they hate throwing them away.
What can you do to help young people increase their condom usage?
If you’re a provider, talk to your young patients about how to properly use a condom and the importance of protecting themselves from STIs. In our survey we also learned that 88% of survey respondents never protect themselves during oral sex. So, don’t forget to talk to them about dental dams or condoms that may be more palatable.
If you’re a champion to a young person, a parent, older sibling, mentor, or teacher for example, talk to them! Champions play an important role in helping to ensure that all young people have the power to decide if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child. Talking openly about sexual activity so that your young person knows how best to protect themselves is incredibly important. It might feel awkward at first, but using the resources from our Talking Is Power campaign you can start to have open and honest conversations about sex, love, and relationships to prepare the person you champion for the decisions they’ll make in the future.