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Free Condoms Now Available in 22 Philadelphia Schools

High school students in 22 Philadelphia high schools returned from the winter break to schools now equipped with free condom dispensers installed inside the nurse’s or student health offices.[1]  The condoms will be available – and free – to all students, though parents have the option of opting their teen out of the program by sending a letter or calling the school’s principal.  The Health Department will cover the cost of the program.

The intent of the initiative is to target Philadelphia high schools with the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).  In 2010, gonorrhea and chlamydia rates among young people in Philadelphia increased by almost 50%, while at the same time data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed decreasing condom rates among Philadelphia’s adolescents. [2]

Dr. Donald F. Schwarz, Philadelphia’s health commissioner and deputy mayor for health and opportunity, further explains the intent of the program; “Less than 60 percent of kids who are sexually active report having used condoms the last time they had sex. …We want to get to that 40 percent who haven’t used a condom.”[3]

According to Advocates for Youth, around 418 public schools in the U.S. make condoms accessible to students. [4]

[1]Makini Brice, “Philadelphia High Schools Will Start Giving Away Free Condoms to Students,” Medical Daily, 26 December 2012, accessed 2 January 2013, <>.

[2]Carol Kuruvilla, “22 Philadelphia High Schools to Distribute Free Condoms,” New York Daily News, 27 December 2012, accessed on 2 January 2013,  <>.