PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA– Children as young as 11-years-old can now pick up or order free condoms from the Philadelphia Public Health Department through a program called Take Control Philly.
A recent survey of sixth-graders in West Philly showed that 25 percent of the 11-year-olds had already had sex. The Take Control Philly program strives to prevent STD’s and unplanned pregnancy.
The program offers information about STD’s, contraception, and even a graphic cartoon video on how to use a female or male condom.
“If you live in Philadelphia and you are between the ages of 11 and 19, all you have to do is fill out the form below and we’ll put together a package for you,” the site states.
While some parents are worried about the message this program may convey to children,the Health Commission says that many students in the schools are exposed to sex at a young age.
“Clearly, we don’t think it’s OK for 11-year-olds to be having sex,” says City Health Commissioner Donald Schwarz. “But we don’t have the infrastructure in place to fix [that] problem fast. We can, however, make condoms available fairly quickly to whoever needs them.”