Release date: 6/20/2017

The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) strongly supports access to free condoms in secondary schools in easily-accessible locations such as schools clinics, nurses’ offices and bathrooms. Despite studies showing the effectiveness of condom availability programs in schools on rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), a very small percentage of U.S. schools have implemented such a program. Lack of condom availability is a frequently cited barrier for why adolescents fail to use condoms. 

Gonorrhea and chlamydia rates declined significantly among adolescent males in schools with a condom availability program, whereas rates of STIs increased among those in schools without such a program. Studies have shown consistent and correct condom use reduced gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomonas by 59%, herpes simplex virus by 30%, and HPV among women by 70%. Politics should not be a motivating factor for keeping adolescents healthy and educated. The majority of parents and voters favor comprehensive sexuality education in schools.  Studies have shown comprehensive school-based sexual education programs support healthy behaviors and decrease risky behavior among students, which is why SAHM is advocating for widespread condom availability in secondary schools with accompanying education. However, inability to provide education and skills training should not preclude making condoms available. Evidence shows strong support for school-based education programs and health interventions, as well as the positive outcomes associated with them. Schools and their administrators must heed this overwhelming evidence and support improving overall sexual health for adolescents by making condoms available to students free of cost in secondary schools.
 
To obtain more information or to speak to an expert, contact Justin Dreyfuss at SAHM headquarters, +1-847-686-2286, jdreyfuss@adolescenthealth.org.

SAHM is a multidisciplinary organization of health professionals who are committed to advancing the health and well-being of adolescents. Through education, research, clinical services and advocacy activities, members of SAHM strive to enhance public and professional awareness of adolescent health issues among families, educators, policy makers, youth-serving organizations, students who are considering a health career, as well as other health professionals. Learn more at www.adolescenthealth.org. 

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