INTERNATIONAL CONDOM DAY
Every year on February 13th, International Condom Day seeks to remind the public that condoms prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unwanted pregnancy. It’s also a day to promote the use of condoms to provide protection from HIV.
Despite increased education and testing, sexually transmitted diseases continue to be a huge problem in many parts of the world. According to the latest statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1 million STDs are acquired every day. Many of these STDs have no symptoms, or the symptoms are mild. Because of this, people unknowingly transmit these diseases to others. When a pregnant woman has an STD, it can result in birth defects or a stillborn baby.
Another complication of unprotected sex is that it can result in an incurable infection. Some of the sexually transmitted infections that can’t be cured include hepatitis B, herpes simplex virus, human papillomavirus (HPV), and HIV. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is especially dangerous because left untreated, it leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Nearly one million people each day around the world die from HIV/AIDS. In some countries, HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death.
The good news is, there is a simple way to prevent STDs, HIV, unwanted pregnancies, and birth complications. When worn correctly, a male condom is 98 percent effective. There are many places that provide condoms for free. These include contraception clinics and sexual health clinics. Condoms can also be found in supermarkets, vending machines, gas stations, and pharmacies.
Unfortunately, in less developed countries, condoms are not as readily available. Even though this is the case, developed countries have some of the highest STD rates. In fact, the United States has the third-highest STD rate in the world. When it comes to HIV/AIDS, the countries with the highest rates include Eswatini, Lesotho, Botswana, and South Africa.
HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalCondomDay
On this day, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) holds a variety of events around the world. These events include free condom distribution, safer sex awareness programs, and rapid HIV testing in high-risk areas. To participate:
- Get tested for STDs and HIV.
- Educate yourself and others on the importance of safe sex.
- Donate to an HIV/AIDS nonprofit, such as the International AIDS Society, AIDS United, or AHF.
Spread awareness for this day on social media with #InternationalCondomDay
INTERNATIONAL CONDOM DAY HISTORY
The AHF launched International Condom Day in 2009. The AHF strategically chose February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day. For the past couple of years, AHF has used the theme, “Safer is Sexy” to promote the day.