National Condom Week: Protect your sexual wellbeing, says Affinity Health
Birds do it. Bees do it. Chances are, you’re also doing it. But are you doing it safely?
With National Condom week just around the corner (Feb 14-21), Affinity Health explores how condoms can help reduce teen pregnancy, prevent the spread of STI, and curb the transmission of HIV and Aids.
Let’s start with the basics: Condoms are still considered one of the best ways to practice safe sex. They’re easy to get your hands on and available from most pharmacies and grocery stores, as well as family planning clinics at affordable prices, so there is no excuse not to use protection.
Burying your head in the sand when it comes to safe sex is today taboo, especially considering that South Africa has the largest number of HIV infections than in any other single country in the world, with an estimated 7.7 million people living with HIV.
One out of every five people who will get HIV this year will be under age 25. Young people between 13 to 24 years old make up about 20% of all new HIV infections each year, which is why condoms should always be worn.
In addition to HIV, countless other nasty diseases are floating around, such as Chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, herpes, hepatitis B, and genital warts. Not to mention armies of creepy crawlers like pubic lice (crabs), scabies (teensy tiny skin mites), and trichomoniasis (caused by a parasitic bacteria). Condoms can help prevent many of these diseases so that you can take control of your health and sexual wellbeing.
Children shouldn’t be having children, but sadly, it happens. The rate of teenage pregnancy is exceptionally high in South Africa, accounting for 13,9 percent of all births. There are many reasons teen girls fall pregnant. While some pregnancies are planned, an unexpected bun in the oven is often caused by not feeling comfortable obtaining contraception or being too embarrassed to ask a partner to use contraception.
If you use condoms properly (as per the instruction leaflet) every time you have sex, there are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy.
As parents, talking about contraceptives seems like a conversation that can wait, but an open discussion can go a long way to preventing teen pregnancies. Most of us know that you can fall pregnant as soon as you begin ovulating or producing eggs. However, not many of us know that this typically occurs about a year after you start menstruating, which usually happens between 11 and 12 (but can happen earlier). That means that even tweens can fall pregnant.”
“It’s important to remember that you are responsible for your own health; therefore, you are responsible for your own protection,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health. “If you are sexually active, then give the gift of safe sex to both yourself and your partner.”
About Affinity Health
Affinity Health aims to provide premier quality, affordable medical insurance to South Africans. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service when they are faced with injury or illness. We work to deliver innovative solutions that are simple, cost-effective, and proven, so our cover is structured to ensure that you get exactly what you need. For more information, follow us on Facebook, and Instagram.