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DC DOH Reminds Residents to Spread the Love Responsibly

Monday, February 14, 2011
Live Well DC tip #6 encourages residents to be safe and healthy when celebrating Valentine's Day.

(Washington, DC) – The DC Department of Health (DOH) is reminding residents this Valentine’s Day to remember Live Well DC healthy living tip number 6, Love Responsibly, as a way to protect the health and well-being of those most important in residents’ lives.  It is important for valentines to celebrate February 14 in a way that is safe and protects themselves and their loved ones from Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV/AIDS.

For most, Valentine’s Day is about demonstrating love and gratitude for the important people in our lives, often through gestures of affection such as flowers and boxes of chocolates.  In addition to romantic sweets and thoughtful gifts, residents can also demonstrate their love and care for one another by asking three simple questions:

  • Do we know our HIV status?
  • Is it just the two of us in this relationship?
  • Do we use condoms?

With an overall HIV/AIDS rate of 3% among adults and adolescents in the District, everyone needs to engage in the discussion of safe sex, STD and HIV/AIDS prevention.   By engaging in this important conversation, partners will be in a better position to determine the best way to protect one another from infection, as well as show they really care about the health and well being of each other. 

“Safe sex and loving responsibly isn’t just about protecting ourselves, but also about protecting the ones we love,” said Dr. Mohammad Akhter, Director of DOH.  “As a city we all must come together with our partners and loved ones to take the essential steps to protect ourselves, get tested, and get the results as part of our regular health monitoring so that our health as a community will improve.”

Assuming responsibility in a relationship is not just limited to incorporating safe sex practices, it is also important for partners to practice respectful and positive ways of loving one another.  Loving Responsibly is also about making sure to take proper care of ourselves and our partners in a way that does not cause emotional, physical or psychological harm. 

For more information on DOH’s Live Well DC campaign, Love Responsibly and other healthy living tips, visit www.doh.dc.gov.