Planned Parenthood Health Centers to Offer Free Condoms
Roses, love letters and candlelit dinners may be the traditional ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but nothing says “I love you” better than the gift of safe sex.
National Condom Week begins on Valentine’s Day, February 14, and to recognize both, all 19 Planned Parenthood of Illinois health centers will be giving away free condoms between February 14 and February 21.
The two holidays fall on the same day for good reason: according to a recent STI report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year, women have more than three million unintended pregnancies, and approximately 19 million men and women contract sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS.
“Condoms used consistently and correctly provide the best protection against sexually transmitted infections for sexually active women and men. They also protect against unintended pregnancy,” said Steve Trombley, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois. “Women, men and teens need to know how to protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies.”
The CDC reports the teen birthrate is on the rise, and that young women are more affected by sexually transmitted infections (STI) and have greater risks associated with STIs. Additionally, in 2007, the CDC conducted a survey of Youth Risk Behavior for students in grades nine-12. Here in Illinois, they found:
• 50.1 percent of high school students had ever had sexual intercourse
• 15.8 percent of high school students had had sex with four or more people in their life
• 37.4 percent of high school students are currently sexually active
• 64.8 percent of sexually active high school students reported condom use during their last sexual intercourse
“With an estimated 750,000 teenage girls becoming pregnant this year and nearly four million teens contracting a sexually transmitted infection, it is time to reject policies that aren’t working and embrace those that help teens make responsible decisions about protecting their health and avoiding unintended pregnancies,” said Trombley.
Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) provides affordably priced high-quality reproductive health care services to women and families throughout Illinois. Through health care services, educational programs and advocacy efforts, PPIL works to ensure and protect the reproductive rights of each individual.
Visit any Planned Parenthood of Illinois Health Center and mention National Condom Week to receive a free condom. Go to www.ppil.org to find the health center nearest you.
February 13, 2009