Students who attend certain high schools in Philadelphia will have easier access to condoms.
Condom dispensers have been placed in schools with high rates of sexually transmitted infections.
The dispensers are located in the nurse’s office, and the condoms are free.
“We believe distributing condoms is part of our obligation to keep students healthy and to remain healthy,” said school district spokesman Fernando Gallard. “The health department has described this as a continued epidemic of STDs among teenagers in Philadelphia.”
Condoms have in the past been provided to students in Philadelphia as part of wider program in which the teenagers are provided “free, voluntary and confidential” testing for sexual diseases in their schools, Gallard said.
It was the results of those tests that led officials to launch the current program to distribute condoms regularly in schools instead of once a year when the tests are administered.
Of the 130,000 student who have received testing in the last five years, some 6,500 or 5 percent of them have tested positive for diseases including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Parents were made aware of the distribution program in October and were given the chance to opt their children out of receiving the prophylactics.
Read more at ABC News.
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