For Immediate Release: January 2, 2013
Contact: Diane Gramley 1.814.271.9078 or 1.814.437.5355
Philadelphia Taxpayers Provide Free Condoms to School Students
(Philadelphia) — Over the Christmas break condom dispensers were placed near nurses’ offices in 22 schools which have the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases in the Philadelphia School District. Today the American Family Association of Pennsylvania (AFA of PA) faxed letters of concern to the principals of each of the 22 schools.
“The city says the Health Department will cover the full cost of this condom pilot program. Which, of course, means the taxpayers of Philadelphia will foot the bill. Parents also have the ability to sign an opt-out letter for their student, but the schools have told the nurses they are not in charge of managing access. One question we posed in the letter was, ‘ Who are the responsible adults who supervise these underage children?’ Exactly what message is being sent the kids?” questioned Diane Gramley, president of the AFA of PA.
In the letter, the AFA of PA also noted, “The CDC repeatedly says only “consistent and correct use” of a condom will reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of STD transmission. The words ‘consistent,’ ‘correct’ and high school students??”
The Deputy Mayor for Health and Opportunity acknowledged that 25 percent of new HIV cases in Philadelphia are teens. CDC statistics were also included in the letter, “. . . the CDC has found 61% of all new HIV infections, nationwide, are men who have sex with men? From 2006 to 2009, HIV infections among young black/African American gay and bisexual men aged 13-29 increased 48%. Among all gay and bisexual men, blacks/African Americans bear the greatest disproportionate burden of HIV. ”
“Our letter also inquired as to whether the school has a Gay Straight Alliance Club which could lead to increased homosexual activity and, thus, an increase in HIV infections. Actions taken in the best interest of the child include teaching them the academics and skills needed to be successful as well as how to be responsible citizens who show respect to each other and learn to control their own bodies. Handing out more condoms to students will not address the real problems they face. Perhaps the city should work with the Cradle of Liberty Scout Council as they help the young men in the area rather than try to evict them from their headquarters,” concluded Gramley.
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