Tuesday, February 14, 2006

2006 National Condom Week

It's here! My favorite awareness week of the year: National Condom Week. This is my favorite for two reasons:
  1. It's another opportunity to highlight the facts that HIV is preventable and that condoms are highly effective at preventing the spread of HIV, if used consistently and correctly.
  2. It gives me another chance to toss out my favorite slogan for condom promotion.

Why so, you may ask. In the first instance, the answer would be obvious were it not for the ongoing assault on condoms as an effective means of disease prevention. We all claim to want to prevent the further spread of HIV. It's just that some of us can't seem to stick with reality when we make that claim. To claim that one is trying to prevent infection at the same time one is disparaging one of the primary means of preventing that infection is hypocrisy of the highest order. Yet, we have many people who continue to do so loudly and in public. The result is that young people who are at risk for infection doubt the effectiveness of condoms and take their chances without them.

In the second instance, it's a chance to remember that sex is, among other things, fun. We don't need to take the fun out of it when we remind folks to "Wrap that rascal!"

So here's a wrap-up of National Condom Week activities in Texas:

The Coastal Bend AIDS Foundation will conduct community outreach and condom distribution during National Condom Week. The agency will also be distributing condoms in the office for walk-ins. For more information, please contact Xavier Perez at xavierp@cbaf.org.

Special Health Resources of Texas (SHRT) will team up with Health Horizons of Nacogdoches to provide a health awareness event in observance of National Condom Week on Wednesday, February 15 from 1-5pm. The event will be held at the Sweet Union Apartments in Jacksonville. The agencies will provide HIV/AIDS information, condoms, outreach activities, OraQuick rapid HIV testing, and syphilis testing free of charge. The goal is to reach all high risk individuals with a focus on African American women of childbearing age and African American MSM. For more information, please contact Gloria Hawkins (SHRT) at 903-234-0936, 1-877-234-0936, or ghawkins@shrt.net; or Beverly Anders (Health Horizons) at 936-569-8240 or BeverlyAnders@hotmail.com.

Health Horizons of East Texas will take part in a community health fair and offer HIV/STD testing, perinatal educational workshops and condom information. The event will take place at the Mt. Olive Baptist Church, 1942 North Main St., in Jasper. For more information, please contact Beverly Chatman at 926-569-8240, ext. 21.

In recognition of National Condom Week, San Antonio College peer educators along with Hope, Action, Care (HAC), BEAT AIDS, and the San Antonio Metro Health Department (SAMHD) will hold a health fair at San Antonio College (SAC), 1300 San Pedro, on Monday February 13 from 9am-3pm in the student mall area. For more information, please contact: Beth Morrison (SAC) at 210-733-2175, Charles Whitehead (BEAT AIDS) at 210-212-2266, Robert Herrera (HAC) at 210-212-4235, or George Perez (SAMHD) at 210-207-2437.

And here are some web sites with more information for this year's observance:

And then, of course, there are all those slogans for National Condom Week.

So enjoy the week and have fun--consistently and correctly, of course.

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