France makes condoms free for under 25s due to rise in sexually transmitted diseases


Mr Macron announced the policy on Twitter earlier this week (Image: SOPA Images/Shutterstock)

France will start offering free condoms in pharmacies to people under the age of 25.

President Emmanuel Marcon announced the policy, which will come into effect on January 1, 2023, during an event on young people’s health.

“It’s a small revolution for contraception,” the French leader later said in a video posted to Twitter on Friday.

Health officials hope the move will help stem the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like chlamydia and gonorrhea.

This is because the infection rate in France increased by about 30% in 2020 and 2021.

Originally, the program was only intended to be available to people between the ages of 18 and 25.

FILE - People wait outside a pharmacy for a COVID-19 test in Paris, France all up to the age of 25 in the New Year on Sunday, January 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, file)

People can get the free condoms at pharmacies (Image: AP)

But after a French TV presenter and activists challenged Mr Macron on social media about why the condom measure doesn’t include minors, he agreed to an extension.

“Let’s do it,” Mr. Macron, before later tweeting, “Lots of minors are having sex too…they need to protect themselves too.”

Since 2018, people in the country have been able to have the cost of condoms reimbursed by the state health system if they were bought in a pharmacy on prescription.

But the measure is not known to young French people.

It was also announced last September that girls and women under the age of 25 could get free birth control as part of the government’s effort to ensure all young people, regardless of income, can prevent unwanted pregnancy.

However, existing measures do not apply to men or specifically address access for transgender or non-binary people.

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Justin Scacco

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