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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
UNITED STATES: Condom Availability Program in an Inner City Public School: Effect on the Rates of Gonorrhea and Chlamydia Infection
Sharon R. Wretzel, MD; Paul F. Visintainer, PhD; Laura M.
November 9, 2011
Journal of Adolescent Health Vol. 49; No. 3: P. 324-326

Noting high rates of sexual activity and sexually transmitted infections among adolescents, the current study sought to assess whether the initiation of a school-based condom availability program was associated with a decrease in STI rates.

The condom availability program was introduced in Holyoke, Mass. STI rates for 15- to 19-year-olds reported to the state Department of Public Health for the three years before and after the program's start were compared to those for a similar city without such a program, Springfield, Mass.

Holyoke males ages 15-19 posted a 47 percent drop in chlamydia and gonorrhea infection rates combined over the three years after program implementation; Springfield males in this age group had a 23 percent increase in the rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea infection. "The difference in regression slopes in this period was significant (p<.01)," according to the results. Both Holyoke and Springfield females ages 15-19 showed moderate, variable changes in STI rates after 2005; "there was no significant difference in the regression slopes of STIs between Holyoke and Springfield." "Initiating a condom availability program in a city's high school was associated with a decrease in STI rates for 15- to 19-year-old males but not females," the study authors concluded.