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Making condoms available in school is not enough

Condoms are only effective when used correctly.
Condoms are only effective when used correctly.

While sex education may be taught in health classes at our public schools, there are two different types offered, depending on what your state or local school district mandates. The comprehensive sexuality education or the abstinence-only-until-marriage program represents two very dissimilar opinions on this hot topic.

No matter which side you fall on, one thing is certain: everyone needs to know how to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Whether that knowledge is communicated as abstinence or the practice of safe sex (the safest sex being with yourself), sex education usually leaves out one crucial piece of information.

Instructions on proper condom usage or the fact that condoms are not a 100 percent effective against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases is often left out of the curriculum. Almost all condom packaging reads that condoms are 99% effective against pregnancy and STD’s….when used correctly.

One Massachusetts town approved a new condom distribution policy last month. The policy requires that students speak to a school nurse or other trained counselor before receiving a condom, WickedLocal/Provincetown reported.

Not a bad idea, really. Making condoms available is a good start, but if they’re not being used correctly, that could do more harm than what you’re trying to prevent.

For more information, take a look at 10 tips for using a condom or visit  US Department of Health & Human Services