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Philadelphia high schools to distribute free condoms

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Nearly half of all new sexually transmitted disease cases are found in people between the ages of 15 and 24. This is why it's important to encourage young people to practice safe sex techniques and use STD testing services so that they reduce their risk of spreading infections on to others. Over the years, there have been many debates over the best ways to get teens to understand the dangers of STDs and do something to protect themselves against them.

Recently, Philadelphia School District officials implemented a program to reduce STD rates among teens that some parents are calling controversial. According to My Fox Philly, students attending 22 different high schools across the city will have access to free condom dispensers.

Getting real about sex
The news source spoke to Michelle DiSalvatore​, whose daughter goes to South Philadelphia High School, which is one of the schools that will be dispensing the condoms. She said that times have changed and that teens are having sex, so it is important that schools address that fact and do what they can to keep students safe. Counsel & Heal also reported on this matter, and said that Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has come out in support of the measure because he believes that STD rates among Philly teens is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with.

Not all parents are happy that their teens' schools will be offering free condoms, but the schools have placed a policy in place to help ease these parents concerns.

"Opt-out letters are to be maintained by the school office," Assistant Superintendent Dennis Creedon said in a statement, published by Counsel & Heal. "Students are to honor the wishes of their parents. If a student disrespects their guardian's directive, that is an issue of the home."

Free condoms in high schools
Philadelphia is not the only city that has decided to distribute condoms to high school students. According to an article published by Reuters, condoms will soon be made available in all 32 high schools in Boston and the 17,000 students that attend them. The news source spoke to Bill Albert, chief program officer of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, who explained that parents may be concerned that giving students access to free condoms may cause an increase in the number of teens having sex, but studies have shown that is not the case.

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