For Release: Feb. 9, 2018 – Jamie Dukes, Office of Communications (405) 271-5601
Buying flowers or candy for your Valentine? How about condoms?
Valentine’s Day is also National Condom Day, and is the first day of National Condom Week (Feb. 14-21). The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) shares the primary goal of National Condom Day in promoting safe sex and normalizing the use of condoms.
National Condom Day began in the late 1980s and is recognized on Valentine’s Day because studies indicate condom sales are 25 percent higher compared to other days of the year. Of all birth control methods available, the condom is the only option to also protect against the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis.
Oklahoma continues to see a steady increase in STDs. In 2016, the OSDH reported more than 21,000 cases of chlamydia, more than 7,500 cases of gonorrhea, nearly 6,000 cases of HIV/AIDS, and nearly 700 cases of syphilis.
Jan Fox, director of the OSDH HIV/STD Service, said the primary purpose of promoting National Condom Day is to educate the public about the need for practicing safe sex at all times. Studies indicate people are more likely to use condoms if they are available prior to a sexual encounter.
“We want more people to be comfortable with purchasing, carrying, talking about, and using condoms,” said Fox. “We hope that one day, buying condoms at the store will feel as normal as buying a gallon of milk.”
The OSDH partners with community-based organizations throughout the state who provide condoms and lubricant, along with additional materials, throughout the year. County health department sites across the state also offer condoms. These sites can also offer important guidance and information about the proper use of condoms.