Nearly 19 Million STIs and Over 3 Million Unplanned Pregnancies Occur Each Year
BOSTON— In recognition of National Condom Week, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM) is urging sexually active individuals to talk to their partners about the importance of using condoms to protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancy. Nearly 19 million STIs and more than 3 million unplanned pregnancies occur each year, and condoms are the only form of contraception that also helps reduce the risk of STIs.
“As a trusted health care provider and sexuality education expert, PPLM knows firsthand the power of education to help people make responsible decisions about their health. PPLM encourages individuals to start a dialogue with their partners about condom use,” said Dianne Luby, President/CEO of PPLM. “Data shows many people who have an STI don’t even realize it. It’s important to let your partner know that you want to use condoms every time you have sex to keep both of you healthy.”
Planned Parenthood affiliates and Vox®: Voices for Planned Parenthood campus chapters nationwide are sponsoring activities to help foster discussion about condom use among sexual partners. PPLM offers free condoms at all their seven health centers across the Commonwealth
Eleven universities and other schools in Massachusetts will be educating their communities about the importance of condom use and providing information and resources to help individuals make responsible decisions this week. Participating universities include the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, Clark University, UMass Amherst, and Boston University. Clark University will also be screening A Vital Service, a documentary short exploring crucial reproductive health issues affecting the African-American community, in honor of Black History Month.
A new study by the Guttmacher Institute released last week, U.S. Teen Pregnancies, Births and Abortions, 2008: National Trends by Age, Race and Ethnicity, found that pregnancy rates have declined dramatically among all teens over the past two decades, and that these declines have been primarily driven by improved use of contraception, particularly increases in the use of highly effective methods and dual use of contraception and condoms. African-American and Latino teens still have pregnancy rates that are two to three times higher than their white teen counterparts, highlighting the continuing need for access to education and services that allow all teens to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released its Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2010, which estimated that nearly 19 million STIs occur each year, nearly half of which are among 15- to 24-year-olds. Biological factors place women at greater risk of infection than men, and contribute to more severe health consequences for women, so Planned Parenthood’s line of stylish PROPER ATTIRE® condoms is designed to help women feel more comfortable buying and carrying condoms.
Every year Planned Parenthood health centers provide four million women, men, and teens nationwide with health information, services, and education to prevent STIs and unintended pregnancy. PPLM is a trusted health provider to women, men, and families for confidential and affordable care.
Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts is the largest freestanding reproductive health care provider in the state. For over 80 years PPLM has protected and promoted sexual and reproductive health and freedom of choice through clinical services, education and advocacy. For more information, visit www.pplm.org.
Media Relations Coordinator
February 13, 2012