When high school kids go back to school in four Montgomery County, Maryland public high schools, their back-to-school supplies will include all the basic necessities and condoms too.
parents don’t have to pay for the condoms. The school is providing
them for free as part of the pilot program to stem the number of STD
cases in the midst of an STD crisis happening across the nation and
Montgomery County government said, for 2017, the nation saw a 17.5
percent increase in chlamydia cases, 51 percent rise in primary and
secondary syphilis cases, with an 85 percent increase for early
syphilis, and a 29 percent rise in the number of gonorrhea cases.
Health officials are seeing the increase in many age groups, but it’s
the adolescents and young adults age group – 15 to 29 – that have
hit the highest level in a decade.
problem isn’t just occurring one county or state; it’s nationwide
and global. In the U.S., there were over 2.3 million new STD cases.
a press release, County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles said giving
out condoms in the high school is just one part of the county’s
plan in its effort to better education, screenings and treatment for
STDs. It’s a public health crisis, and because it mirrors the
problem nationwide, it’s important the county does something so
young adults and teenagers make good decisions regarding their sexual
condom distribution will take place in the cities of Wheaton, Watkins
Mills, Northwood and Gaithersburg, but may eventually be offered in
all the county’s high schools. Local officials have mulled over the
idea of implementing the program in middle school as well, but are
requesting further research to determine if there’s a need.
school condom distribution programs are nothing new and were enacted
during the 1990s when the AIDS epidemic was in full swing. The
American Academy of Pediatrics, in 2013, provided a revised policy
that supported condom use among teenagers to stop unwanted
pregnancies and STDs. The AAP said high schools are the best place
for these programs and are regarded as highly effective when used
along with sexual health education.
the latest Youth Risk Behavior Survey from the CDC found a decrease
in number of teens having sex – the lowest in 20 years – STDs are
still a major health problem for them.
gonorrhea and chlamydia can be treated and cured using antibiotics,
but a lack of treatment could lead to major complications such as
pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility and more. Some
antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea cases have also been reported.
best way to prevent the spread of STDs is to use latex condoms
correctly and regularly when having sex.