STD Dates for your Diary

 By: Tim Leach
With sexually transmitted diseases more common than they have ever been before, raising awareness both about the risks of unprotected sex and the STD testing options that are available has never been more important. Throughout the year, there are calendar dates devoted to various aspects of sexual health. Find out which dates you should be marking down in your diary for 2010.

Sexual Responsibility Week

Running from the 8th to the 14th of February, Sexual Responsibility Week is held early on in the year in order to kick-start a year-long commitment to increasing awareness of sexual health. The student-friendly campaign focuses on promoting sexual responsibility on-campus with this year's theme 'sexology 101' cleverly alluding to the academic. Intending to educate on every topic from relationships to safe sex to STD testing, the week-long campaign is tailored differently for each campus, and is a great way to start the New Year focusing on sexual responsibility.

National Condom Day

February 14th is widely celebrated as being all about Saint Valentine and romance. Each year however, the 14th or a date close to it has become known as National Condom Day. This time of year was chosen as it was believed that a day when people could easily be overcome with passion was a good day to remind them to be careful. Whilst many of the other STD diary dates focus on general sexual health awareness, National Condom Day aims to reach its audience before pregnancy or STD testing is required, urging people to be passionate... about prevention.

National STDs/Family Planning Awareness Month

Far from being an April fools, the National STDs/Family Planning Awareness Month is nationally observed, aiming to encourage people to learn more about the risks of having unprotected sex. Throughout April, paraphernalia related to the event is distributed in workplaces, retail outlets and other businesses in order to spread awareness about the risks of STDs and pregnancy. The campaign also aims to educate people on options such as STD testing that are available to them if they have had unsafe sex.

National HIV Testing Day (NHTD)

Held on the 27th June by the National Association of People with Aids, National HIV Testing Day focuses on encouraging people to go for HIV and STD testing. According to statistics on the NHTD site, someone is infected with HIV every nine and a half minutes in the United States - a terrifying statistic. This annual event is held in order to urge people of any age, gender and sexual orientation to go out and take a test, as it is always better to be safe than sorry.

World Aids Day

Observed on an international scale, World Aids Day is held on the 1st December each year and aims to educate people about HIV, and limit prejudice towards those who have the infection. Run by the National AIDS Trust who aim to transform society's views towards those carrying HIV, the day sees people the world over sporting red ribbons to show their support.

Whether it is an event that aims to educate society about safe sex and family planning, or a campaign to promote sexual health and STD testing, these are dates that are well worth marking in your diary.
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