By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Students in 22 Philadelphia public high schools will return to school in the new year to a new feature in the nurse’s office.
The City Health Department has run an aggressive campaign against sexually transmitted diseases among teenagers for two years.
They held a contest to design a condom package that would appeal to youth, then gave them out free at more than 100 sites, including “health resource centers” at 13 public high schools and during STD testing at nine others.
Officials say infection rates are going down, but they are still too high, so they’re installing handy, wall-mounted condom dispensers in those schools to make it even easier for students to obtain them.
“If they are sexually active, they should be protected,” school district spokesman Fernando Gallard says.
Gallard adds that parents can opt out of the program, but he was not sure how many had.
“There has not been any concern from parents. They understand what the procedures are,” he said.
Gallard says most understand, it’s a health issue.