Condoms Could Save Your Life
Recent outbreaks of syphilis and HIV raise sexual awareness in Alaska
ALASKA - After recent outbreaks of syphilis and HIV, in Alaska, one group said using condoms will reduce your chances of getting an STD.
The problem is that sexual protection is a topic that's not often talked about. When you talk about condoms or pull them out, people often laugh, joke or stay silent, but health care providers said speaking up on how to use them could be the difference in saving someone's life.
When it comes to protection from sexual diseases Trevor Storrs gets it. The executive director of the Alaska Aids Assistance Association is not playing around because STD's are on the rise in Alaska.
He said teaching about condoms will lower the amount of unprotected sex. “By providing these tools plus the information, its never one or the other, we are truly seeing a reduction in HIV and STD’s,” said Storrs.
“We laugh about it, but we don’t' talk about it,” said Storrs. “[They are] very two different things and its seen as a negative thing versus as a thing that's very natural and actually a very positive thing. You can watch TV and you'll see erectile dysfunction commercials, over and over again, when was the last time you ever saw a condom commercial?”
Campaigns like the 4A's "Get It On," and through information and flyers, health care providers around the state are starting the conversation about condoms and their uses to stop outbreaks like the recent cases of syphilis and HIV.
“If you have sex with one person, you're having sex with one person,” said Susan Jones, who is the state’s HIV and STD program manager. “If you’re having sex with six people than you're really having sex with all the partners that the person has had and your actually with.”
“We think people are out there that have these infections that don't know it.”
While condoms may not be the only method of protection experts said something is better than nothing.
”Knowing that there's this much disease out there, I would hope that people would change their behavior,” said Jones.
Part of sexual responsibility is getting tested every three to six months, if you’re sexually active with multiple partners.
For testing sites and places to get free condoms click here.