County of Marin - News Releases - National Condom Week

For Immediate Release
February 13, 2018

Valentine’s Reminder: Condoms Show You Care

Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in state and nation

San Rafael, CA – In honor of Valentine’s Day, Marin County has adopted a resolution proclaiming National Condom Week. Health officials want to remind anyone who is sexually active to discuss sexual health with a primary care provider, get screened regularly for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and use condoms to reduce the risk of STD transmission.

Condom packages arranged in the shape of a heartCondoms remain an extremely effective way to protect yourself from STDs and to prevent unintended pregnancy.
Across the country and in California, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia have been increasing for the past five years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), California has the highest number of cases among all states. Marin County follows similar statewide and national trends, where syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia have been increasing since 2010.

Having an untreated STD increases the risk of spreading the infection to another sex partner as well as increases the risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, infertility problems, long-term pelvic/abdominal pain, and complications in pregnancy.  Regular STD testing, decreasing the number of sex partners, and using condoms reduces the risk of STD transmission.

“STD testing should be part of everyone’s health routine as long as they are sexually active, especially for adolescents and young adults,” said Dr. Lisa Santora, Deputy Public Health Officer with the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). “National statistics say that one in two young adults will get an STD before age 25. Condoms remain an extremely effective way to protect yourself from STDs and to prevent unintended pregnancy.”

Condoms have been used for centuries for STD prevention and birth control.  Condoms are cost effective and should be made available and accessible. Medical providers can also prescribe condoms as part of routine health exams.  

STDs are preventable and treatable. The following steps can help everyone reduce risk:

  • Ensure correct and effective condom use for all sexual activity
  • Get tested regularly
  • Get vaccinated as a safe and effective way to prevent Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Have open and honest conversations with your sex partners

It can be common to have an STD without experiencing any symptoms.

If you are sexually active, talk to your provider about being screened for STDs. Most STDs can be treated quickly and effectively.  There are also programs that help those without insurance get tested free of charge.

For more information about STDs in California, visit the California Department of Public Health website. For more information about where to get tested in Marin County, visit the Marin HHS website.


Dr. Lisa Santora
Deputy Public Health Officer
Health and Human Services

3240 Kerner Blvd.
San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 473-4163
Email: Dr. Lisa Santora
Marin HHS website