National Condom Week

Spreading STIs is no way to show your love during the Valentine’s Day season.

What were you up to — dear Minnesota Daily reader — this Valentine’s weekend?

I hope you were celebrating with someone special. But, wait, did you know Feb. 14-21 is also National Condom Week? Should the opportunity arise, I hope you’ll join the rest of the young people around the country and use a condom.

In Minnesota, sexually transmitted infections are the most commonly reported communicable diseases and account for nearly 70 percent of all diseases reported to the Minnesota Department of Health. In fact, the number of cases in 2011 grew to 19,547, an 8 percent increase from the previous year.

This week, Planned Parenthood is encouraging every sexually active person in Minnesota to use condoms consistently and correctly and to get tested for STIs. Data shows many people who have an STI don’t even realize it because many people with an STI experience no signs or symptoms. So 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.

People rely on Planned Parenthood every day for accurate information about condoms and nonjudgmental, confidential health care. For nearly a century, we’ve been helping men, women and teens prevent unintended pregnancies and STIs. We also advocate for every person’s right to accurate health information and access to health care.

Regardless of who you are or where you live, you deserve high-quality, affordable health care — no matter what.

This National Condom Week, and every day, make sure you and your partner are doing everything you can to stay healthy. I know, I know — negotiating condom use isn’t always easy, but the numbers don’t lie; this problem isn’t going away.

Giving or getting an STI is no way to say “I love you” around Valentine’s Day.