Americans spend virtually $20 billion annually on sweet, playing cards, flowers and different items for Valentine’s Day. Oklahoma State Department of Health is urging lovers so as to add one other merchandise to their Valentine’s buying listing: condoms.
Valentine’s Day is also National Condom Day, and is the primary day of National Condom Week, which runs Feb. 14-21, in accordance with a well being division press launch.
“The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) shares the first aim of National Condom Day in selling protected intercourse and normalizing using condoms,” the press launch acknowledged.
National Condom Day started within the late 1980s and is acknowledged on Valentine’s Day as a result of research point out condom gross sales are 25 p.c larger in comparison with different days of the 12 months, the press launch acknowledged.
“Of all contraception strategies accessible, the condom is the one choice to additionally shield towards the unfold of sexually transmitted illnesses (STDs) reminiscent of HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis,” the press launch acknowledged.
Oklahoma continues to see a gradual enhance in STDs. In 2016, the OSDH reported greater than 21,000 instances of chlamydia, greater than 7,500 instances of gonorrhea, almost 6,000 instances of HIV/AIDS and almost 700 instances of syphilis.
Jan Fox, director of the OSDH HIV/STD Service, mentioned the first function of selling National Condom Day is to coach the general public in regards to the want for working towards protected intercourse always.
“We need extra folks to be comfy with buying, carrying, speaking about and utilizing condoms,” mentioned Fox. “We hope that sooner or later, shopping for condoms on the retailer will really feel as regular as shopping for a gallon of milk.”
Studies point out individuals are extra probably to make use of condoms if they’re accessible previous to a sexual encounter, in accordance with OSDH.
OSDH companions with community-based organizations all through the state who present condoms and lubricant, together with extra supplies, all year long.
County well being division websites additionally supply condoms, together with data on their correct use.