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Published On: Thu, Dec 27th, 2012

Philadelphia schools to install condom dispensers to battle ‘STD epidemic’

Philadelphia is installing condom dispensers in 22 city high schools where students as young as 14 will be able to receive condoms for free in an effort to combat an “epidemic” of sexually transmitted disease among the city’s teenagers.

condoms, Trojans

Public domain photo/Trojanhung via Wikimedia Commons

According to ABC News, the city – in response to a new report that cites five percent of its high schoolers have tested positive for STDs – is installing condom dispensers in the 22 schools with the highest rates of these diseases.

“Less than 60 percent of kids who are sexually active report having used condoms the last time they had sex,” Dr. Schwarz told the Daily News. “We want to get to that 40 percent who haven’t used a condom.”

“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.

“Opt-out letters are to be maintained by the school office,” Assistant Superintendent Dennis W. Creedon wrote. “Students are to honor the wishes of their parents. If a student disrespects their guardian’s directive, that is an issue of the home.”

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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  1. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says:

    MY PARTNERS AND I DO NOT WEAR CONDOMS; SO, I HAVE A GREAT BIAS AGAINST THEM.

    I AM NOT CONCERNED ABOUT CONDOM-USE IN REFERENCE TO HETEROSEXUAL PHILADELPHIA-HIGH-SCHOOLERS – THESE YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE TO DECIDE WHETHER PREGNANCY WILL BE UTILIZED AS A METHOD OF EMPLOYMENT [RECEIPT OF WELFARE BENEFITS], OR, IF THEY WANT TO DO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE IN LIFE.

    I AM CONCERNED ABOUT CONDOM-USE AND HOMOSEXUAL PHILADELPHIA-HIGH-SCHOOLERS. YOUNG MALE HOMOSEXUALS NEED TO PRACTICE “unsafe sex” IN ORDER TO DEVELOP A POSITIVE OUTLOOK ON HOMOSEXUALITY – OTHERWISE, THESE YOUNG PEOPLE WILL BE EASILY VICTIMIZED BY HETEROSEXUALS WHO CLAIM HOMOSEXUALS ARE “abnormal.”

    THE ISSUE OF SEXUALLY-TRANSMITTED DISEASES IS OF NO CONSEQUENCE BECAUSE ONLY INDIVIDUALS [AND, THEIR PARTNERS] CAN DECIDE HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT MONOGAMY.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

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