Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando hopes to build awareness about safe sex.
By Jacob Engels
Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando Director of Education Enda Chandler talks National Condom Week, safe sex, and more.
What is National Condom Week?
National Condom Week falls during the week of Valentine’s Day (February 14 – 21) and is aimed at spreading awareness about the effectiveness of condoms in reducing the risk of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies, as well encouraging conversations about condom use.
Why is it important to use condoms?
Condoms are an essential part of staying healthy and protecting yourself against both sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy. Even if you are using another method of birth control, you may be at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection. Using condoms plus another method of birth control – like the IUD, implant, shot or pill – is the best way to prevent both pregnancy and STIs.
Sexually transmitted infections, if left untreated, can lead to serious health outcomes like increased risk of infertility and cervical cancer. Having an STI can also increase your chances of contracting HIV.
It’s important to remember that we never reach an age when we’re not at risk for a sexually transmitted infection. Continuous condom use helps protect your health and well-being – no matter how old you are or where you are in life.
If you are in a committed relationship, should you still use condoms?
If you’re in a committed relationship, and you and your partner have both been tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and you both don’t have any, that’s considered “safe.” However, you have to trust that your partner has been tested and that your partner is only having sex with you. You also have to understand that some STI’s, like HPV, are not routinely included in STI tests.
Consistent and continuous condom use among sexually active people in all sorts of relationships is always the best bet.
A lot of people make the argument that sex is less pleasurable when you use condoms. Is this true or false?
Using condoms can actually enhance your sex life. Contrary to popular myth, condoms don’t make sex less fun – people who use condoms rate their sexual experiences as just as pleasurable as people who don’t. Condoms are a good way to feel a little more relaxed too. Many people say they find sex more enjoyable when they use condoms because they aren’t worrying about STIs or unintended pregnancy. I should also mention that condoms come in different sizes, textures, colors and flavors that all help to enhance the pleasure of condom use.
Most people use condoms to prevent the risk of pregnancy. Does that mean gay men shouldn’t worry about using protection since there is no risk of pregnancy?
Condoms are a barrier method that reduces the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease and can prevent pregnancy. Although gay men are not at risk of becoming pregnant, they are still at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease by engaging in unprotected sex. Using condoms correctly and consistently can reduce the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease, HIV and unintended pregnancy.
Using condoms correctly and consistently provides the best protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV. When it comes to HIV, using a condom makes sex 10,000 times safer than not using a condom.
What will you be doing during National Condom Week to promote awareness in Central Florida?
This year for National Condom Week, we’re focusing on the importance of consistent and continuous condom use among sexually active people of all ages, not just young people. We know that most young people use a condom the first time they have sex, but don’t use condoms consistently as they get older. PPGO’s on campus advocacy group at UCF, Voices for Planned Parenthood (VOX) will be raising awareness of National Condom Week on campus, and making free condoms available to the student body. Free condoms are always available at Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando’s Health Centers too, and you can rely on Planned Parenthood for accurate information, resources, and guidance on how to use condoms correctly and how to talk about condom use with your partner, not just this week—but every week.
More about PPGO –
Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando is Central Florida’s leading sexual and reproductive health care advocate and provider. We believe that when people are truly cared for, they will make their lives, their families, and their communities better and healthier. Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando’s two health centers provide medical services and sexuality education to thousands of Central Florida women, men, and teenagers each year. We work to ensure that all women and men have the right and the means to meet their sexual and reproductive health care needs.
Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org