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Teen Condom Access Project Expands To San Diego County

Aired 4/30/13 on KPBS News.

California teens in "high STD areas" can request free condoms online and have them delivered to their doorsteps.

San Diego County has the second-highest number of chlamydia cases among 15- to 19-year-olds in the state and the sixth-highest number of gonorrhea cases, according to the California Family Health Council.

Special Feature Speak City Heights

Speak City Heights is a media collaborative aimed at amplifying the voices of residents in one of San Diego’s most diverse neighborhoods. (Read more)

That's why the statewide, federally-funded family planning network is expanding its Condom Access Project to the county this month.

The program lets teens in seven "high STD areas" order free condoms online. The condoms, along with some educational pamphlets, arrive on their doorsteps in discreet packaging.

Amy Moy, vice president of public affairs for the council, said the program helps reach teens who may be too shy to pick up condoms in stores and clinics.

"Despite broad retailer availability, teens are facing barriers to accessing condoms because of embarrassment, or concerns related to confidentiality, or cost and accessibility," Moy said.

The Family Health Council mailed out 30,000 condoms last year. Teens can request the mailers monthly at TeenSource.org.

For parents who intercept the parcels and are surprised by their teen's sexual activity, Moy recommended visiting TalkWithYourKids.org for advice on starting the conversation about sex.

"We really encourage family communication around these issues," Moy said. "Ideally, when the package comes home, it's not a big surprise and it doesn't start a new conversation."

Across the state, sexually transmitted disease rates are on the rise.

The number of chlamydia cases in San Diego County grew from 14,141 in 2008 to 15,399 in 2011, according to the California Department of Public Health. Gonorrhea cases increased from 1,847 to 2,174 between 2008 and 2011. County data shows rates are highest in central San Diego.

"It's really important that we all share with youth in our lives that abstinence is the most effective way to avoid sexually transmitted infection and unintended pregnancy," Moy said. "But we know that teens are engaging in sexual activity, and we just want to help them be as safe as possible and not keep our heads in the sand and pretend there isn't a problem."

Comments

Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | April 30, 2013 at 10:02 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

The US government should NOT be involved in mailing free condoms to the horniest, yet laziest teenagers in human history.

Condoms are available for FREE from over 65 teen health agencies and for a nominal cost at drugstores, gas stations, and supermarkets on virtually every corner in America.

Yet that isn't easy enough to satisfy their insatiable desire to _ _ _ _ like rabbits.

They must be mailed right to their door, because getting out of bed is too difficult.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | April 30, 2013 at 3:49 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

CADef, the proof is in the statistics. I realize how when someone hears about this the immediate reaction is a huge over-reach of the government, but I look at it from a public health perspective.

The statistics show that the more condoms are made available, the more STD rates go down.

Obviously San Diego County was doing something wrong to have such high rates especially if counties with lower rates have programs in place like this.

It also makes economic sense - stopping STDs before they happen costs tax payers less that when these diseases spread and then public health clinics have to use up precious funds to combat it.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | April 30, 2013 at 4:42 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

I agree that condoms should be very easy to get, but mailing them for free with a bottle of personal lubricant? Seriously?!?

Tape a condom to the top of ever can of Coke, put them in McDonalds kids meals, whatever, just have kids meet the government half-way.

We don't have the economic luxury to place condoms in their laps. Or is that coming next? US Government Condom Technicians. Too lazy to put it on? Don't worry, Uncle Sam will do it for you.

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Avatar for user 'Anon11'

Anon11 | April 30, 2013 at 5:06 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

CAD, did you even read the article?

They have to go on a website and order them. Are you going to start getting up in arms about people that shop online in general?

"...the program helps reach teens who may be too shy to pick up condoms in stores and clinics."

""Despite broad retailer availability, teens are facing barriers to accessing condoms because of embarrassment, or concerns related to confidentiality, or cost and accessibility""

You just like to complain, don't you? Why don't you order a free condom, and go screw yourself.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | April 30, 2013 at 6:03 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Anon11,

Well at least you made me laugh with that last line. Bravo.

But I'm not disagreeing with the program itself. In a perfect world, condoms by the pallet should be airdropped into every teenager's backyard. But as I mentioned, we don't have that financial luxury.

The US is flat broke and $17 trillion in debt, remember? California is $407 billion in debt and we're getting close to beating Greece! Yay!

Just a few more FedEx packages of condoms and we'll be there. Oh don't forget to express ship the CostCo 50 gallon drum of lubricant. You know teenagers...

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | April 30, 2013 at 7:51 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

HAHA, hey Peggy and Duane, any chance you will use the last line of Anon11's post in your "public square" segment????? :-)

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