A new anti-STD campaign launched by Philadelphia officials includes mailing condoms to kids as young as 11 years old, and some are wondering whether that’s just too young to be talking about sex.
TakeControlPhilly.org is the home page for the campaign to reduce sexually transmitted diseases. The Program, offered by the city’s Department of Health, includes facts about chlamydia, syphilis, HIV/AIDS and other STDs, and includes a “Mail Me Condoms” section, which offers information on how kids ages 11 through 19 can have condoms mailed to them for free. There is even a “female condom” section which includes a video on how girls can correctly insert the device, so “you should be good to go,” according to the web site.
As it turns out, school officials and others are saying kids that young are having sex, so something needs to be done to make sure they’re doing it safely. Plus, a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified many Philadelphia kids as having sex as early as 13.
Some parents are against at the campaign.
“As a parent, I am personally outraged,” a parent of one 14-year-old wrote to a Philadelphia Daily News columnist. “What’s the back story on this campaign? What is it telling our youth? I get the sex-education thing for kids in schools, but mail-order condoms for 11-year-olds??? It’s shocking to me.”
Philadelphia also unveiled The Freedom Condom last week, aimed directly at teens, after discovering that new HIV cases among city teens and young adults are up 40 percent over three years.
“We need to show kids that we touch these things,” said Health Commissioner Donald F. Schwarz, because otherwise “they will never believe that it is appropriate and normal to use them.”
What do you think? Is 11 too young to offer free condoms through the mail? And what about the explicit female condom instructions being offered on TakeControlPhilly.org? Is it all too much? Please tell us your thoughts!
Want more genConnect?
- For more daily expert updates, follow genConnect on Twitter and Facebook
- To stay on top of our genConnect experts’ latest posts, as well as the latest contributions from other experts on the site: Sign Up for genConnect.
These are one expert’s views on the news. Share with us your thoughts in the comments box below.
Category: Views on the News