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Bianchini: Splurge for protection

BY FRANCESCA BIANCHINI | FEBRUARY 13, 2013 5:00 AM

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Flowers, teddy bears, and chocolates are easily the most typical Valentine’s Day items to be snatched up at stores for gift exchanges with significant others. But this year, Planned Parenthood decided to spice things up and add another staple to the long-anticipated day: condoms. Thursday is the kickoff day for National Condom Week.

Yes, you read that correctly. From Thursday through Feb. 21, many universities will provide sex education throughout campuses in accordance with this week of awareness.

Yet, next to no one seems to be aware that this week even exists.

The different approach to sex education (making a national holiday out of it) started on the University of California-Berkeley campus and has grown since the 1970s. Though a student can go to any dorm on this campus and find free (and cheap) condoms from RAs, this week sheds light on the necessity of using condoms.

There needs to be more of an emphasis on National Condom Week and less on the flowers that won’t make it past the weekend.

First off, condoms work. In fact, it’s pretty well-known that condoms are about 98 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, according to Planned Parenthood.

And they are important to staying healthy. Each day, more than 25,000 American youth get an STI and more than 2,000 become pregnant, according to Advocates for Youth.

Not only are condoms effective, but they’re also easy to get and, unless you’re allergic to latex, there are no side effects.

Sure, we’ve heard it all before. The only way to be safe is to use protection, and National Condom Week just seems to be another gimmick to promote this. But the fact that it still needs promoting clearly points to a problem.

So this Valentine’s Day, skip the box of chocolates and splurge for some condoms. Nothing says “I love you” quite like a nice box from the No. 1 love glove out there: condoms.


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