Letter: Valentine’s Day begins with sexual health awareness

With the Valentine’s Day holiday fast approaching, many may not consider it “sexy” to discuss practicing safe sex with your significant other — but you should.

In the media you hear the phrase “sex sells” more often than not when, for example, a new Carl’s Jr. Commercial comes out. So if our society is so accepting of these sexual messages, why do we frown upon discussing sexual health?

According to the Center for Disease Control’s recent fact sheet, young people (ages 15-24) acquire 50 percent of the 19 million new STDs (dismaying when people this age only make up one-quarter of sexually active individuals) and STDs cost the U.S. $16 billion in health care costs every year.

 

 

College is a time for experimentation for those trying to figure out who they are, what they believe and what kind of person they want to end up with. It is a fair assessment to say that we have all been with the wrong person, sexually or not, at some point in our lives.

The mistakes we make are vital in defining who we are later in life, but they should not haunt us simply because we decided to forgo a condom one night.

Sexual health conversations need to start becoming a normal conversation in our day-to-day lives if we want these overwhelming statistics of infertility and STD rates to decline. Having a conversation with your partner about practicing safe sex is nothing compared to telling a future partner you have an STD.

National Condom Week runs every year during the month of February. This year, it appropriately runs from Feb. 14 to Feb. 21, kicking off on Valentine’s Day.

It is a reminder that Valentine’s Day is a holiday about love and loving someone means more than a box of chocolates and a nice dinner. Love means respecting your partner’s sexual health, as well as your own.

 

 

Tory Stangl

Undergraduate

Planned Parenthood Arizona Communications Intern

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