Illinois action blog

Monday, February 14, 2011

National Condom Week: Protect Yourself and Your Valentine

Need a conversation starter for your Valentine’s Day dinner? Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) recommends talking with your partner about the importance of using condoms to protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Almost 19 million STIs occur each year, and condoms are the only form of contraception that also helps reduce the risk of STIs.

“It is critical that women and men of all ages know how to protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies,” said Carole Brite, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois. “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.”

PPIL will recognize National Condom Week by giving away free condoms at select PPIL health centers in Bloomington, Champaign, Chicago (Rogers Park, Loop, Near North and Wicker Park), Decatur, Ottawa, Peoria and Springfield from Feb. 13 to 20.

PPIL’s peer educators, who lead group discussions in community organizations to educate teens, parents and community members about making healthy decisions, will be distributing goody bags with condoms and STI information directly to their peers, as well as hosting programs about healthy relationships.

The peer educators also will be using popular social media sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter to blitz fun, educational facts about condoms during National Condom Week.

As a trusted health care provider, Planned Parenthood knows firsthand the power of education to help people make responsible decisions about their health. Every year Planned Parenthood of Illinois provides more than 60,000 women, men, and teens across Illinois with health information, services, and education to prevent STIs and unintended pregnancy.

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