Children as young as 12 in California are able to get free condoms delivered to their doors by simply clicking a computer mouse — and the initiative is reportedly funded partly by federal tax dollars.
The Condom Access Project, a state-run program launched in February 2012, provides free condoms at “teen-friendly” locations but also delivers to residents in seven designated “STD hot-spot” counties.
Anyone between the ages of 12 and 19 living in those areas can request a 10-pack of free condoms online each month and have them confidentially shipped. Recipients also get personal lubricants and a packet of educational information.
The program, which has shipped 30,000 condoms since it began, expanded the delivery service last month to include San Diego and Fresno counties.
“Despite broad retail availability, teens continue to face many barriers to accessing condoms,” including embarrassment and cost, said the California Family Health Council, which oversees the project.
The condom giveaway gets $5,000 annually per county served from the federal government, according to a Fox affiliate in San Diego.
Teen pregnancies have declined in the state, but cases of sexually transmitted diseases have not. More than 42,000 cases of chlamydia and 4,800 cases of gonorrhea were reported by youths between 12 and 19 in the last year, according to the health council.