Home News Health wants to give free condoms to young people at State expense

Health wants to give free condoms to young people at State expense

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Health wants to give free condoms to young people at State expense

The Minister of Health, Mónica García, announced this Thursday that her department is analyzing the possibility of financing condoms in the National Health System, which would be free “for those young age groups with lower purchasing power and who present significant increases in the rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).”

“It makes no sense to cover a vaccine to avoid infection, but not a barrier method like a condom,” García proclaimed during his appearance before the Senate Health Commission, reports Ep.

When asked by the media, she confirmed that, although they still have to study it, Health would include “all young people” between 14 and 22 years old“who in principle have to study and do not have work”, clarifying that the measure will not follow income criteria.

His department has clarified that, at the moment, “partial financing of condoms for the rest of the population is not contemplated,” beyond the free provision for young people. “We are studying financing starting with the groups that are most affected, that have less purchasing power and that are most affected by the transmission of STIs,” García highlighted, adding that “It is a basic public health measure.”

Regarding the procedure, he clarified that It would be through dispensing in pharmacies. “The idea is that it be charged to the health card, without having to go through a doctor, as was already done with masks during the pandemic”has explained.

To improve STI prevention, Health will also work on updating the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy “so that sexual education is a central axis that addresses all these issues not from fear or guilt.”

“Sexual health is a source of well-being for everyone and we need the population to receive an education based on information, honesty, consent and care in interpersonal relationships,” he said, adding that those who do not understand this , “it is because they inhabit a past where sexuality was taboo and guilt was the norm.”

Rising numbers

At this point, he recalled the “worrying increase” in STI figures, according to the report “Epidemiological surveillance of Sexually Transmitted Infections in Spain 2022”. “After the false sensation that the decrease in incidence rates during 2020 gave us as a result of the pandemic, In 2022, the upward trend that we have observed since 2016 has been confirmed. This increase mainly affects young adults between 20-44 years old, being more striking in men between 20-34 years old in the case of syphilis and gonorrhea. and in women in the case of chlamydia”he detailed.

In this sense, García has also called to “improve access to centers specialized in the management of these infections” that they are capable of incorporating the latest innovation and that they have not only knowledge of the specific pathology, but also how to address these issues “without blaming people.” “Blame has never been an effective public health policy,” García said, in line with his department’s desire to “fight stigma.”

Sexual Health Survey

He has also called for “adapting to the 21st century” in relation to these infections, so has announced a new National Sexual Health Survey. “Given the increase in STIs in recent years, we cannot use data from 2009, the date of the last available survey,” he explained.

Likewise, he has also defended the need to “incorporate innovation” regarding STIs into the SNS. “We need to expand access by health professionals to rapid tests for different STIs to speed up diagnosis times, thus improving prevention,” said García, adding that “self-testing should be included as a way for people to can participate in the diagnosis if they suspect they have been exposed to an STI.

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