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Valentines Day More Than Just Roses And Chocolates

VALENTINES DAY MORE THAN JUST ROSES AND CHOCOLATES – FPA

11 February, 2004

Building healthy and positive relationships should be the priority for this Valentines Day, Family Planning says.

Executive Director, Dr Gill Greer says amidst the roses and chocolates, New Zealanders should make sure that they act responsibly and respect themselves and each other.

“Valentines Day can be a lovely day of romance, but we also need to remember to keep ourselves safe and look after each other.”

Dr Greer said if couples were not planning to have a child they needed to be sure they used contraception. Couples starting a new relationship should be honest about their sexual history and always use a condom if there was any possibility of being exposed to a Sexually Transmitted Infection or HIV/AIDS.

“Some people say Family Planning should be teaching abstinence-only sexuality programmes - and while abstinence and delay are part of our teaching – unfortunately telling young people to ‘just say no’ is not enough.”

“Young people need objective and accurate information and access to services so they can make the best decisions for themselves. Research tells us young people are more likely to delay having sex until they are older if they have information about sex and sexuality issues.”

Dr Greer said Family Planning educators had a number of activities planned ahead of Valentines Day. Heart Art chalk drawing is planned in some centres and educators will be working with young people encouraging them to think about healthy and positive relationships and translate that to pavement art.

A Valentines Day billboard has also been put up on 11 sites around New Zealand by FPA. The image is of a long stemmed rose made from condom wrappers and the tagline is “he loves me, he loves me not. He loves me!” This campaign has been supported by Durex.

The billboards are in Auckland, Ruakaka, Hamilton, Waipawa, Wellington and Christchurch.

ENDS

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