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In recognition of National Condom Week of Action, Feb. 14-21, staff members of Walter Reed Bethesda’s Preventive Medicine Department will be available to answer questions and provide information on condom use and safe sex at a table display in the America Building’s first floor atrium today and in the Building 17 first floor lobby area tomorrow.

National Condom Week is about protecting yourself and your partner, whether you’re single or in a relationship. The week serves to educate people about the risks involved with unprotected sex, such as unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.

Protecting your sexual health is your right and responsibility, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials, who report there are 19 million new sexually transmitted infections every year.

Knowledge and practice of consistent condom use can reduce the risk of HIV transmission by 85 to 100 percent, and is proven to be 85 to 98 percent effective in preventing unintended pregnancies, according to the CDC.

Preventive Medicine staff members at Walter Reed Bethesda want people to know it’s OK to talk about condoms, and that condom use can be the norm rather than the exception. The more comfortable people become, the better equipped they will be to make safer decisions about their sexual health behavior.

For more information, call 1st Lt. Jennifer Bryant, Public Health Nursing/Clinical Preventive Medicine, at 301-319-8809.