In the ever-expanding fight against sexually transmitted diseases and the struggle to provide sex education to teens, California has gone the extra mile to safeguard its youth with the Condom Access project. According to KENS5.com, the program will allow kids as young as 12 years old to sign up for an online condom delivery service, which delivers packages of the barrier device straight to their door. Lawmakers believe it can play an important role in lowering the number of STD cases among teens, who are already among the most prominent at-risk groups for STDs.
The Condom Access Project
While the project has already distributed more than 30,000 condoms throughout California and has dramatically expanded condom availability, not everyone in the state is keen on the idea of giving pre-teens access to these products. According to CNN, there has been controversy brewing among parents and lawmakers, but the Family Health Council, which runs the Condom Access Project, believes that the expansion of the program to younger individuals can only reduce STD rates and ensure that young adults are practicing safe sex.
"California is experiencing a near public health crisis with STD rates among teens rising to alarming levels," Julie Rabinovitz, the council's president, told the news source. "By providing sexually active teens and their parents with the tools they need to prevent STDs and unintended pregnancy, we are hoping to move the needle in the right direction."
Effects of the program
The program could play an important role in reducing STD rates, which have skyrocketed in California over the past decade, while pregnancy rates have declined. According to the California Department of Public Health, more than 42,000 cases of chlamydia and 4,800 cases of gonorrhea were reported in the 15 to 19 age group during 2011, so the Condom Access program may have come at the perfect time for many young adults who are sexually active.
While the program may have caused a stir among conservative groups and abstinence-only advocates, the Condom Access project will undoubtedly expand the access to condoms and other sexual health education materials to millions of young adults living in California to ensure that they have all the tools at their disposal to make the right choices when engaging in sexual activities.