Philly targets youth STD ‘crisis’ with free condoms

The city of Philadelphia now has an official condom. The plan is to give out a million of them to help stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

Health Commissioner Dr. Donald Schwartz says Philadelphia has a major problem when it comes to youth and sexually transmitted diseases.

“In Philadelphia, 10- to 14-year-olds are five times as likely to have chlamydia as American teens overall and the rate of chlamydia among of 15- to 19-years-old is more than three times then national rate for this age group,” he said Thursday. “We have a crisis among our youth and we believe in the health department we need to respond.”

John Tomicki, head of the League of American Families, said one of his concerns is that underage youth will get the condoms without parental approval.

“The second one: Are they going to give out information about the failure rate and that they don’t offer protection against certain STDs?” he said.

Schwartz said the city hopes to distribute a million condoms free of charge and subsidized by federal funding. Plans include mailing them out and distributing them everywhere from barbershops to video arcades.

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