Condom distribution to adolescents has always been a very controversial subject. Margaret Pruitt Clark display's her views on this issue in her short essay entitled, "Condom Availability Promotes Health, Saves Lives." Clark has many good points about distributing condoms to adolescents and the reasons that these types of measures should be taken. I agree with many of her proposals but do not believe that the school environment is the right place to do this.
The threat of HIV, pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases (STD) among adolescents, has become a life threatening issue and measures should be taken. The Center for Disease Control issued a survey stating that, "31.9 percent of ninth-grade girls and 48.7 percent of ninth-grade boys have had sexual intercourse" (Clark 115). These figures jump about thirty percent by the time these students are seniors in high school. In a separate study, STD's were said to have infected over two and one-half million adolescents, and every year one out of every ten girls becomes pregnant. The reasons to why adolescents are not using protection during intercourse include cost, access, and, embarrassment. Many communities have already begun the battle with this issue. Condoms are now being made available to students through their respective health centers, located within their schools. Cities across the nation are adopting this policy in the fight against AIDS, STD's, and pregnancy. In order for a program like this to succeed, it must have full backing from the community. According to recent studies, the Center for Population Options knows of about fifty schools that provide this service to their students. (Clark 115-119).
Clark strongly agrees with the idea to have condoms available to students throughout their schools. She believes that the threat to our youth has become a very serious issue, and that strong measures should be taken. In her essay she states that, "teens who are exposed to risks need and deserve the best means possible for protecting themselves: knowledge, skills, and access to latex condoms" (Clark 117). I strongly agree with her point that something must be done, and that teens deserve the best possible...