“Wait, that’s a thing?”
Yes, National Condom Week is celebrated every year from February 14-February 21.
“Why, for goodness’ sake, do we need to celebrate this?”
Well, condoms help prevent the spreading of sexually transmitted infections, and sadly in the US, many sexually transmitted infections are on the rise.
So to honor National Condom Week and highlight this important aspect of public health, Those Nerdy Girls want to spend a few moments with some of our favorite reproductive health tools: barrier methods!
Barrier Methods 101
External Condom: sometimes referred to as a “male” condom or just a condom, this barrier method is used on penises and sex toys. When used on the penis, it can prevent pregnancy, and when used on the penis or a sex toy (correctly), it can prevent sexually transmitted infections.
Internal Condom: sometimes referred to as a “female” condom, this barrier method can be used in the vagina or in the anus. **This type of condom is a great choice for people who have previously had to rely on their partners’ willingness to wear an external condom.
Dental Dam: though not technically a condom (it can be made from an external condom, see link below for directions), this barrier can be used during oral sex to help protect against spreading HPV, herpes, and syphilis.
Why are barrier methods important, especially now?
Certain sexually transmitted infections are on the rise or being undercounted:
Gonorrhea: 25% since 2017.
Syphilis: 68% since 2017.
In 2021, the rate of syphilis in the U.S. reached 51.5 cases per 100,000 people, the highest rate since 1990 and the greatest number of overall cases (171,074) since 1951.
HIV: Although CDC estimates new HIV infections overall, Blacks/African Americans and Hispanics/Latino people assigned male at birth who have anal sex continue to be severely and disproportionately affected.
Anyone who has sex can get a sexually transmitted disease, but certain groups are more at risk:
-People aged 15-24
-People who are pregnant
-People who have anal sex
-People from racial or ethnic groups which are marginalized
Who in your life could use this timely reminder about preventing sexually transmitted infections with these effective barrier methods? Please share.
Stay well. Stay nerdy.
Those Nerdy Girls