| JOHN HENRY
IN MY PROFESSION, I get the opportunity to talk to people every day about their condom use. Not many people can say that and I take pride in being one of the privileged few. February is National Condom Month. A whole month devoted to celebrating a cheap piece of latex in a foil pack that I hand out in bulk, for free, whenever possible. Seems like a bit much but, let’s give credit where credit is due. Condoms are pretty great. They are an affordable and easy way to prevent the spread of STIs, including HIV, and unplanned pregnancy. Sex has a lot of risks, but condoms make it a whole lot safer when used consistently and correctly.
No matter which category you would place yourself in, I would like to encourage you take a moment and consider the condom. If you think you are a type one person and hate condoms, try every variety available before excluding condoms all together. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation just awarded more than one million dollars in grants to 11 different research facilities and companies to develop “a better, more pleasurable condom.”
Condom innovation is happening and some of these innovations could be available later this year. Look into different varieties of a guy’s best friend before pooh-poohing the idea. If you are the type who loves condoms, encourage everyone you know to have the same admiration for latex. Share them with friends and preach the good word of condom use. If you have a take it or leave it outlook on condoms, try to better understand the situations that allow you to be a little more carefree. Realize the risks and inform yourself of your options. Decide if one night of pleasure is worth three months of worry and stress during the testing process and possibly a lifetime more based on the results. Protect yourself and your community. Vive le preservative!
Free confidential HIV and STI testing is available at ARC Ohio’s locations.
Anonymous HIV testing is available.
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