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Lucas Avelleda

Athlete, International Shotokan Karate Federation

TEDCRED 500+

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Should High Schools implement condom availability programs?

This is a controversial and polemic approach to reduce rates of sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancy among teenagers. Data from different sources has shown that is at the age of fifteen, on average, that teenagers have their first sexual relation. However, condoms are not used by most of them (in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, it is used by only 56% of the individuals aged between 13 and 18).
The condom availability program appears not to have produced an increase in sexual activity among high school students, and it appears to have led to improved condom use. Nevertheless, social and political aspects play a role on this issue.

Is the program necessary?
Since it's a public health issue, should religion and cultural aspects interfere?
Is it moral from your point of view? Why?
Pros and cons

I'm a 17 year old student from Brazil and I'm looking for opinions about this issue that could help me and my school's student council to discuss with the administration the implementation of the condom availability program for High School students.
Thank you!

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    Mar 29 2011: Brazil did a very good job in promoting prevention using "camisinhas" for at least 2 decades.
    My only concern of making condoms available in high schools would be that it could lead to increased sexual activity, however, if what you mentioned is correct and this concern is unfounded, then making them available shouldn't be a problem.
    Obviously, beside making condoms available, education is an important factor as well, both in school and in the family.
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      Mar 29 2011: Hi Harald, thanks for answering!
      Yes, the government is also making condoms available in public high schools, however, it's hard to implement this program at private schools. Some people at this schools still thinks that sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancy are exclusive problems of poor populations, although you can get condoms for free here in Brazil. The problem pointed by the government is not financial, is psychological. Teenagers don't feel comfortable buying condoms or simply getting it for free. Schools seem to be a more appropriate place, where the teenager feels more comfortable to get condoms.
      And I agree with you: education is essential.
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        Mar 29 2011: Yeah, I know.

        For those who don't know, here in Brazil you can go to any health public post and get a bunch of the government condoms, that, must I add, have proven to bee much more resistant and effective than the brands you can buy.

        But you know, I've never been there to get those condoms for free. I buy them. To buy, you must have the will, the "guts" to face the cashier (it's not that big of a deal, teens!), you know, "it's a drag"

        And also for your info, the parents that put their child on private schools (such as my own mom and dad) are what we all call

        "SCARED MIDDLE CLASS"

        They are the adults that prefer not to resolve about issues, but makeup them. They stick in bad marriages for appearance. They are the people who let the internet raise their kids. They are the adults who lock the children up in big castles, so they will not see the dangers of the world (but one day they will, and will they be prepared?)

        And as you can imagine, they have no intimacy with their kids to talk about sex.

        How can we expect they will take and use condoms just because they are available, if even their parents never brought attention to it?
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          Mar 29 2011: Marianna, can you believe that there are some students at my school saying that the government condoms are not as resistant and effective as the brand ones you can buy?And yes, our challenge is to convinve parents, some of them are afraid of programs like condom availability in High Schools. I just can't understand why they makeup issues like this one, as you said, and I also don't know how to convince them. Ideas???
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      Mar 29 2011: Harald, is an increase of sexual activity necessarily bad? I believe that the will to do it is already within the students, they would just release their locked up desires. Of course, there's a legal responsibility of the school not to estimulate sex among underage students, but I wouldn't consider more protected sex, in it's concept, something bad.

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