February 14, 2013
In February, Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan began distributing more than 6,000 free Valentine's Day-themed "condom pops" to the community in observance of National Condom Week and National Condom Month. Communications Director Julie McKeiver said the campaign encourages sexually active individuals to speak to their partners about using condoms for protection against unintended pregnancies, HIV/AIDS, and other STDs. Each multicolored "condom pop" contains two condoms, a lollipop, safe sex information, and the slogan "Wear. No matter what," which McKeiver states is a play on Planned Parenthood's new slogan, "Care. No Matter What." The campaign is part of an ongoing community basket program that began in May 2012. Community Outreach Educator Melissa Ferguson refills condom baskets every three weeks in locations such as hair salons to reach sexually active women. Planned Parenthood highlights condom use in places where women gather because biological factors contribute to more severe health consequences for women and place women at greater risk of infection than men.