Celebrating Love… And Protection

February 14th is right around the corner. And you know what that means!

It’s Valentine’s Day — an occasion to celebrate love and lovers.  Bring out the flowers, the chocolates and the condoms.

Why condoms?

Because Valentine’s Day also happens to be the start of National Condom Week, an annual awareness campaign to encourage safer sex in order to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned  pregnancies.

Originally begun in the 1970′s as an educational program at the University of California – Berkeley, National Condom Week has grown into a nation-wide education campaign involving high schools, colleges and universities, HIV/AIDS organizations and family planning programs.

At family planning health centers in Maine, every week is condom week. Our staff provide clients of all ages with the information and supplies they need to reduce their risk of unplanned pregnancy and STDs.  Thanks to the work of family planning, in the past 30 years Maine’s teen pregnancy rate has gone from one of the highest in the nation to one of the lowest.

But there’s still plenty of work to be done. The latest trend data from the Maine Youth Risk Behavior Survey shows that approximately 60% of middle and high school students report using condoms the last time they had sex. And, nationally, 6 out of 10 pregnancies among women age 20 to 24 are unplanned. That’s why family planning services are still such an important part of overall health care picture. We continue to improve our education and clinical services, using evidence-based practices that we know are effective.

Wondering what you can do for National Condom Week?

Take Care of Yourself — If you need information or supplies (like condoms) to protect yourself from STDs and avoid an unplanned pregnancy, contact the family planning clinic nearest you. We’re here for you!

Take Care of the Teens in Your Life — If you’re a parent, guardian or someone with teens in your life, you may want to explore the FPA’s resources for parents.

Support Family PlanningJoin our Action Network for the latest news affecting family planning services in Maine.

Best wishes for a happy (and safe) Valentine’s Day!

~ Nancy

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