“Condom Availability Promotes Health, Saves Lives”

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In the essay “Condom Availability promotes Health, Saves Lives,” by Margaret Pruit Clark, she states high school health clinics should make condoms available to all of their students upon student requests. Schools providing condoms to students have many advantages. It has brought communities together in awareness of teen intercourse. Condom distribution also educates young adults on the danger of unprotected sex and it has received great support from cities all over the country. This paper will focus on the importance of condom distribution to teenage Americans. One of the more important benefits of distribution of condoms to teenagers through schools is that it has brought controversy and debates into communities. These debates have educated and created public awareness to both adolescents and adults. Parents now know the amount of children who are participating in sexual intercourse, and teenagers now realize the availability of condoms to themselves. Debates have allowed communities to become more interactive regarding teenage sex and condom availability to teenagers. Margaret Pruitt Clark, an Executive Director of The Center for Population Options, says “ A surprising but important benefit of the controversy over school condom availability programs is the way it has engaged entire communities in the debate and increased public awareness at the local level,” (pg 116 ). There are other issues that support condom availability in schools in addition to community awareness. The threat of AIDS and HIV in teenage kids has become a major problem in our society. Our communities should take every precaution necessary to help prevent this problem in America. If schools wish to completely educate teenagers on the risks of attracting HIV or AIDS they should provide every means necessary to do so. This includes knowledge on the subject of AIDS as well as an easy way to acquire condoms. Studies have shown many reasons why teenagers fail to use condoms. Reasons that include money, bashfulness, and lack of preparation. All of these obstacles can be avoided by the distribution of condoms through a school setting. Margaret Pruit Clark states, “ While only sexual abstinence and abstinence from intravenous drugs and other judgment impairing substances, including alcohol, guarantee nontransmission, teens who are exposed to risk need and deserve the best means possible for protecting themselves: knowledge, skills, and access to latex condoms,” (pg. 117). There are still other reasons for condom distribution to teenagers however. One of the most important reasons for providing condoms to teenagers through schools is the amount of support the issue receives. Even at schools where health clinics are not available, programs have been set up to provide condoms to students. The development of health clinics across the country has increased over the past years. These programs have brought volunteers from across the nation who wishes to help in the development of health clinics and the prevention of AIDS and HIV in high school students. Many states that have allowed school boards to pass out condoms to students. School boards are planning to improve upon and increase the programs in the school systems. Margaret Pruitt Clark reports, “ Earlier this year the District of Columbia announced a citywide campaign to control the spread of AIDS, including condom availability in all 16 public high schools. With one in 57 D.C. males

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