by Caroline Lavoie
Adults aren’t wearing condoms anymore, says Statistics Canada. Couples are giving them up, believing they’re safe in relationships. But they’re not, sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise.
“We had a woman who was 52-years-old when she contracted HIV,” said Chris Smith, the executive director of Planned Parenthood Regina. “It doesn’t matter how old you are, you should always wear a condom.”
The Sex Information and Education Council of Canada and Statistics Canada released shocking findings at the beginning of September.
A large-scale national study asked over 19,500 unmarried, sexually active adults between the ages of 20-34, “Did you use a condom the last time you had intercourse?”
More than 50 per cent of women and 40 per cent of men said no.
Statscan’s article goes on to say that condom use declines steadily with age. The 20-year-old uses condoms less often than the 16-year-old.
Smith said Planned Parenthood can’t be in the bedrooms of young adults to see why they aren’t using a condom.As people get older,
she said, they drift away from the condom and end up using other forms of birth control.
“Most of the time, their main concern is having a baby at the wrong time in their life. But as they get older and get trapped in their routine prescriptions, they seem to forget that birth control pills won’t stop them from contracting sexually transmitted infections,” said Smith.
Joanne and her boyfriend Marcus started out with condoms.
“But after a couple of months, we just stopped,” said Joanne. “ I started taking the Evra patch instead. Condoms are just so expensive and impersonal.”
Smith explains that it’s more so teens that come in for condoms. Adults usually come in for STI testing or prescriptions.
The study indicates that monogamy leads people to believe they’re protected from STIs. Relationship after relationship, unprotected sex becomes a perfect breeding ground for STIs.
“If you’re going to have sex, you should always follow the ‘It Takes Two’ philosophy. Whatever other form of birth control you prefer, pills, IUDs, the patch, you should always pair it with a condom,” said Smith.
Cassandra and her fiancé Colby subscribed to this idea at the beginning of their relationship.
“But after we both made sure we were up to date on our STI tests we just relied on the pill,” said Cassandra.