National Condom Day originated from an AIDS support group in America during the late 1980s, with the purpose of promoting condom use and educating people about the need to practise safe sex. Sexual and Reproductive Health Western Australia coordinates National Condom Day as an annual state-wide health initiative. The campaign falls on February 14, Valentine’s Day, an ideal opportunity to promote healthy relationships, and remind people about the risks of sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancies.
National Condom Day is a timely reminder for people to always use condoms during sexual activity to protect themselves and their partner/s. Results from the National Survey of Australian Secondary Students and Sexual Health (2013) indicated that:
Amongst sexually active students, the most commonly used form of contraception was the condom (58%), with the majority (63%) of students believing that ‘most’ or ‘all’ of their peers use a condom when they have sex.
The majority (67%) of sexually active students reported that a condom was available the last time they had sex, and 86% of these students reported using it.
When referring to their last sexual encounter, 23% of sexually active students reported having sex in a less controlled space (i.e. friend’s house, car or outdoors), where a condom may not have been readily available.
These results suggest that people are more likely to use condoms if they are available during a sexual encounter, but there are still many occasions where people are engaging in sexual risk-taking behaviour.
The aim of National Condom Day 2016 is to get more people comfortable with buying, carrying, talking about and hopefully using condoms during sexual activity.
SHFPACT all had a great day handing out roses with condom packs attached on National Condom Day 2016 at the Multicultural Festival Canberra. A big thanks to all our volunteers.