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PPST Celebrates Valentine’s Day and National Condom Week by Distributing Free Condoms at Health Centers 

San Antonio, TX — Throughout National Condom Week (February 14-21), Planned Parenthood South Texas is encouraging people to talk with their partners about using condoms, and have safer sex to help protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancy by distributing free condoms at their health centers in San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley. Getting comfortable talking about safer sex and using condoms is one of the best ways people can take care of their health — and their partner’s.

Using condoms correctly and consistently provides the best protection against sexually transmitted infections, which remain a major public health concern in this country. Every year, there are approximately 20 million new cases of STIs in the U.S., half among young people ages 15-24. Many people who have an STI don’t know it, since most of the time people don’t show any symptoms.

  • Talking about condoms might feel scary, but Planned Parenthood is here to help. Learn how to talk with a partner about STDs and safer sex with our STD Video Series.

As the nation’s largest provider of sex education, Planned Parenthood works every day to help keep young people safe and healthy, including providing education and resources on condoms and preventing STIs.

Planned Parenthood works every day to help young people and communities prevent STIs and unintended pregnancies and keep people safe and healthy. Planned Parenthood affiliates provide education and outreach to 1.5 million people each year, and Planned Parenthood websites in English and Spanish provide accurate, nonjudgmental information about sexual and reproductive health to more than 73 million visitors each year.

READ MORE: Condom Sense 101

Everyone deserves to have a safe, healthy sex life that is also pleasurable and fun. Getting comfortable talking about safer sex — including using condoms — is a good way to take care of your health and your partner’s. This Valentine’s Day — like every day — condoms can help you and your partner stay healthy and protected from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancy.

  • Condoms are a good way to feel more relaxed about your sex life. Many people say they find sex more enjoyable when they use condoms because they aren’t worrying about STIs or unintended pregnancy.
  • Anyone who has vaginal, anal, or oral sex can get an STI, even if you’re using birth control are on PrEP, or have an undetectable HIV viral load.
  • When it comes to HIV, using a condom makes sex 10,000 times safer than not using a condom. Using condoms along with PrEP and antiretroviral therapy (ART) lowers HIV risk even more!
  • This Valentine’s Day, make sure you bring condoms, no matter what your plans are. It’s always best to be prepared.
  • There are so many kinds of condoms to choose from (latex, non-latex/polyurethane/polyisoprene, FC2 Female Condoms, flavored, colored, ribbed, different sizes, etc.) to meet the needs of you and your partner — trying different kinds can help you find what works best for both of you.
  • If you have vaginal sex, using condoms plus another method of birth control — like the IUD, implant, shot, or pill — is the best way to prevent both unintended pregnancy and STIs.
  • As long as you use them every time you have sex, condoms are very good at preventing pregnancy; they’re also the only type of birth control that also helps protect against STIs.
  • Using water- or silicon-based lubricant along with condoms can lessen friction, making sex more comfortable and condoms less likely to break.
  • Always check condoms for expiration dates, possible holes, and avoid using oil-based lubricants, as they break down the condom and increase its potential to break.

 

It’s important to talk with your partner about using condoms before you have sex. Be direct and emphasize that condoms are essential to protect one another’s health — and that using them can even make your sex life better.

  • Talking about safer sex doesn’t have to be scary. If you’re nervous about bringing up condoms,  practice what you’re going to say beforehand. Then, choose the right time to talk — before things get hot and heavy. This is also a good time to talk about being tested for STIs, including HIV.
  • Contrary to popular myth, condoms don’t ruin the mood — people who use condoms rate their sexual experiences as just as pleasurable as people who don’t.
  • If your partner doesn’t want to use condoms, ask why — that way you can address their concerns and help them feel good about using condoms. Sometimes it’s about finding the right type of condom, using condoms along with lube, or explaining why you want to use them.
  • Stress that your health (and your partner’s health) is your priority — and that sex without protection is not an option. Then decide who will get condoms, and make a plan to use them every time, the entire time you’re having sex.
  • Talking about consent is also an important part of talking about safer sex, to make sure everyone is clear on what’s going to happen, including using condoms.

 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on the rise in the U.S. Using condoms correctly and consistently provides the best protection against sexually transmitted infections.

  • Every year, there are approximately 20 million new sexually transmitted infections in the U.S., half among young people ages 15-24.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis all increased to more than two million in 2016, for the third year in a row.
  • Some sexually transmitted infections, if left untreated, can lead to serious health issues, like infertility, cervical cancer, and even death.
  • Many people who have an STI don’t know it, since most people with an STI have no symptoms. For example, an estimated 70-95 percent of women and 90 percent of men with chlamydia have no symptoms. And many people with HIV don’t develop symptoms for up to 10 years.

 

Planned Parenthood is here for you with education, accurate information, and resources on how to use condoms correctly and how to talk about condom use with your partner.

  • As the nation’s largest provider of sex education, Planned Parenthood works every day to help young people, families, and communities prevent STIs and unintended pregnancies, and help keep people safe and healthy.
  • Planned Parenthood affiliates provide education and outreach to 1.5 million young people and families, and Planned Parenthood websites in English and Spanish provide accurate, nonjudgmental information about sexual and reproductive health to 72 million visitors each year.
  • Planned Parenthood’s digital tools help people make responsible decisions, including games and quizzes like It Takes 2, Been There/Done That, and Should I get tested for STDs?, our Talking About STDs video series, our Consent video series, and our Chat/Text program, which allows young people to live-chat with a trained health educator in real time.