February is a lot of things. We celebrate Black History Month, American Heart Month, Valentine’s Day, and President’s Day, among others. But as you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, it’s important to remember that February is also National Condom Month.
Philadelphia has the highest STD rate in Pennsylvania. When used correctly, condoms are proven to be 99 percent effective against STDs and unintended pregnancies. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s STD Control Program’s condom distribution program aims to address the barriers of condom availability and accessibility and empower young Philadelphians to Take Control of their sexual health.
Where can you get free condoms?
In 2011, Take Control Philly was created to address the alarming rates of STDs among Philadelphia youth between the ages of 13-19. By visiting that website, teens can create a customized condom order by selecting from the following:
- Extra large
- Female (receptive)
Orders can be placed twice a month, are free, and confidential. They come in a discreet envelope, so no one knows what’s inside. Orders can also be mailed to any Philadelphia address so teens may request to have them mailed to a location that’s most comfortable for them. Each order comes with 10 condoms, or two female (receptive) condoms, water-based lubricant, directions on how to properly use a condom, and a palm card containing the information on the City’s sexual health centers.
In addition to requesting condoms online, teens may also pick up condoms from the City’s STD clinic (Health Center 1, 1930 S. Broad St.) and any partner organization. Partner organizations include other health and wellness centers, libraries, hospitals, and more. Currently, there are 45 partner sites in Philadelphia. If you would like to become a partner organization, please complete this form.
Students can also pick up condoms from their school. The STD Control Program’s STD Screening Program provides free STD testing and condoms to all students who attend a Philadelphia public school. Take Control Philly works closely with high school nurses and counselors to ensure their schools’ condom dispensers are always fully stocked.
In 2022, Take Control distributed 483,757 condoms through online orders, community pick-ups, school distribution, and at community events.