Young people in France will have free access to condoms from January, in a bid to minimise the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The French president announced the new health measure on Thursday at an event for young people’s health.

Emmanuel Macron said young people would be able to collect them from pharmacies, and described the move as a “small revolution in prevention”.

In 2020 and 2021 France experienced a 30% national increase in STI rates.

Mr Macron said France had educational challenges around sexual education.

“We are not very good on this subject. The reality is very, very different from the theory,” he said.

The new measure comes alongside other health initiatives targeting the spread of STIs and improving access to contraception.

In 2018 the French government started reimbursing the costs of condoms to individuals if purchased in a pharmacy with a prescription from a doctor or midwife.

Earlier this year the government made contraception free for all women up to 26 years old – a move that affected three million women. Contraception had previously been free for women and girls 18 or younger.

Mr Macron added in a tweet that Thursday’s announcement will exist alongside other health measures. They include free emergency contraception for all women in pharmacies, and free STI screenings without a prescription, except HIV, to those under the age of 26.

By Antoinette Radford

Source: BBC News

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