Los Angeles – The County Department of Public Health wants to remind local residents to be safe this national day of love and protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases.
February 14 is National Condom Awareness Day. In observance, the Dept of Public Health is making condoms available to the public for free at all public health STD clinics.
“The consistent and correct use of condoms is still the best way for sexually active people to reduce the risk of contracting potentially serious sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV,” said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, a Public Health officer. “You owe it to yourself and to your partner to take the appropriate steps to protect your body.”
Los Angeles County has experienced a steady increase of reported STDs including Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis. Sexually active people can purchase in-home STD testing kits at local drug stores or receive a free kit for women from Department of Public Health. More information is available at publichealth.lacounty.gov.
“People do not realize how common these STDs are,” Fielding commented. “The majority of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea infection in women is asymptomatic, or has such mild initial symptoms that they go unnoticed. Unfortunately, these STDs can have long-term health consequences that include infertility, chronic pelvic pain, and ectopic pregnancy, which are potentially life-threatening conditions.”
Reports of STDs were highest among African Americans, according to a 2008 study of sexually transmitted disease morbidity report released by the Department of Public Health. People between the ages of 15 and 24, who are likely more sexually active with multiple partners, are more likely to contract an STD.
So be safe and healthy this Valentine’s day and practice safe sex.