July 20, 2012
Last April, the Philadelphia Department of Health introduced "Take Control Philly," a campaign offering free condoms to youths ages 11-19 via mail-order and 160 distribution sites. Only 22 percent of the mail-orders, however, have come from females. PDH's Dr. Caroline Johnson said the department discovered, chiefly from comments posted to TCP's Facebook page, that stigma was associated with girls having condoms. To counter this, PDH launched "She Takes Control," an outreach specifically directed at encouraging teenage girls to carry condoms. Some religious and conservative groups have voiced opposition, but Johnson said, "We don't believe this promotes promiscuity. We believe this promotes preparedness, and that's what this is really all about. We're not encouraging anyone to have sex if they're not ready." For more information, visit www.takecontrolphilly.org.