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National Condom Week Takes on TN's High STD Rate

February 17, 2009

Nashville, TN – It's a Top Ten list you don't want your state to be on. However, Tennessee consistently ranks in the Top Ten among states with the most cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Mark Huffman, vice-president of education and training for Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee, says that's part of the serious health message behind this week's "National Condom Week."

"We've got serious diseases out there, and we need to protect ourselves against them."

Huffman says numerous studies have shown that condom use can greatly reduce the chance of contracting an STD, including HIV/AIDS. He notes that the recent removal of funding for condom distribution from the federal economic stimulus bill was understandable, albeit disturbing.

"What was really disappointing to us, was to see that something that saves healthcare costs down the road was railed against by some."

Estimates of the number of new STD infections in the United States every year range from 12 to 19 million.

Dan Gordon, Public News Service - TN