Just in time for the unofficial International Condom Day, and one day ahead of Valentines, Dallas County got a gift today: ONE MILLION condoms.
A million may seem like a lot of condoms. But county health director Zachary Thompson says they’re needed.
“Every year we lead the state in new HIV infections and that has to stop.”
Last year, Thompson says, Dallas County logged more than 30,000 clinical visits for sexually transmitted diseases. He figures that number easily doubles when you include non-county doctors’ offices and hospitals. What’s more, at least 15,000 Dallas residents now live with HIV/AIDS. He’s not just worried about the rising number of young people diagnosed with HIV, or the growing number of African American women diagnosed.
“The last population we always forget about is the 50 and older," said Thompson. "Those numbers are going up dramatically in terms of new HIV infections. Now I know it’s been a while since they’ve been in the dating game, but now people are connecting through social media, rendezvous for one day, and that one day can be very deadly.”
The Aids Healthcare Foundation made the million condom donation. The foundation’s Ed Jones says they’ll be distributed to various organizations, from neighborhood and community groups to churches.
“We have children as young as 14 years old recorded," says Jones, " infected for not having education and not using protection for HIV.”
Jones says education, and condom use will reduce the number of infections here and worldwide. Zach Thompson adds the donated million might last less than a year, thanks to various health fairs and other events where they’re distributed.