Show Love During National Condom Week
Valentine’s Day is more than a day to celebrate those we love— it also marks the beginning of National Condom Week. This week long promotion of safer sex began in the 70s and remains relevant today. Why has the relevance lasted over 35 years? Because STIs are still significant challenge our youth face in 2019.
49.1 percent of high school students reported NOT using a condom the last time they had sex. This underscores the importance of comprehensive sexual health education that include instruction on proper use of condoms and contraception for sexually active teens.
The prevalence of teens (15-19) in South Carolina living with a diagnosed HIV infection was 21.0 per 100,000 teens in 2017 
In 2017, youth ages 15-19 accounted for 29% of all Chlamydia cases diagnosed in South Carolina. 
Youth ages 15-19 in 2017 accounted for 21% of Gonorrhea cases diagnosed in South Carolina. 
For many parents and trusted adults having the conversation about safe sex and STI prevention is uncomfortable, but it is a conversation we need to have to keep our young people healthy. This Valentine’s Day show love by educating yourself on current options, talking to your kids about protection, and emphasizing the importance of partner communication.
 Youth Risk Behavior Survey Results (2017). South Carolina High School Survey. Trend Analysis Report. Retrieved from https://ed.sc.gov/districts-schools/school-safety/health-safety-surveys/sc-youth-risk-behaviors-survey-yrbs/2017-sc-trend/.
 SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (2018). SC HIV Prevalence, Ages 15-19, 2017. HIV Surveillance and Technical Support Requested Report. Columbia, SC.
 South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (2018). “An Epidemiological Profile of HIV and AIDS in South Carolina 2018.” Retrieved from https://www.scdhec.gov/sites/default/files/media/document/2018%20Epi%20Profile.pdf