Philadelphia, PA – The city is making an aggressive effort to combat the prevalence of rampant sexually transmitted diseases amongst adolescents. Locals consider the numbers to represent an alarming public health crisis, as teens account for a fourth of new STD cases. Therefore, when the students return from Christmas break, they’ll find condom dispensers in 22 high schools.
The city distributed four million condoms in 2011, coinciding with a notable drop in local STD rates. Therefore, the schools in the area with the highest STD rates will be providing the condoms for free but only to students whose parents have signed forms for the program.
Mayor Michael A. Nutter asserted to Philly.com:
“I support the policy strongly. This is a serious public health matter. The reality is: Many of our teenagers, regardless of what adults think, are engaged in sexual activities. Discussion about whether or not they should be sexually active is an appropriate discussion, but if they are, then we need to make sure they’re engaged in safe sexual practices.”
Nutter, himself the parent of a Philadelphia School District teenager, feels it is a necessary move.
Additional information is available on the Philadelphia Government page, outlining the sexually transmitted infections crisis in the area. Shockingly, stats reflected that 15 percent of students surveyed said they were never taught about HIV or AIDS in school, even though the curriculum requires a semester of Health Education. Thirty-seven percent admitted they had not used a condom during their most recent intercourse. Fifteen percent had sexual intercourse for the first time before they were 13 years old.