Stuff.co 6 November 2013
Teenagers as young as 13 are being issued with 12-trip passes to safer sex, in an effort to drive down abortions and teenage pregnancies.
A scheme in which young people are given bus-pass-style cards entitling them to free packets of condoms has been piloted in Hawke’s Bay, and could be picked up nationwide.
Social embarrassment and the cost of condoms were identified by the region’s health leaders as factors contributing towards unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.
The Condom Card scheme is being hailed by Auckland University’s adolescent health research group, which says contraceptive use among youth has remained stagnant at less than 60 per cent for more than 10 years.
New Zealand’s teen pregnancy rate is the second highest in the developed world, with the latest census data showing more than 6000 teenagers became pregnant last year.