Spain: Free condoms for 14 to 22-year-olds

Drastic measures for Spain's youth

Spanish Health Minister, Monica Garcia. Credit:

Spain’s health minister has proposed a new initiative aimed at addressing the sexual health of young people.

On Thursday, March 14, a statement made in the Senate, Monica Garcia revealed a proactive approach to tackle the ‘worrying’ rise in Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) among young people aged 14 to 22.

This initiative, rooted in the success of similar programmes in France, was disclosed as part of the broader health strategy for this legislative term.

Tackling STIs with free condoms

‘It makes no sense to cover a vaccine to avoid infection, but not a barrier method like a condom,’ Garcia stated, underscoring the importance of comprehensive prevention methods.

The government’s plan includes making condoms accessible free of charge to young people, particularly those with limited financial resources, who have been identified as a group experiencing significant increases in STI rates.

Sexual education

Another key aspect of the strategy is the overhaul of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy. This update will ensure sexual education becomes a central pillar, aimed at equipping the population with knowledge rooted in ‘information, honesty, consent and care in interpersonal relationships.’

This educational pivot seeks to empower individuals with the knowledge to make informed decisions about their sexual health.

Better diagnostic access

Garcia also highlighted concerning statistics from the ‘Epidemiological surveillance of Sexually Transmitted Infections in Spain 2022’ report.

This report noted a stark increase in infections such as gonorrhoea and syphilis, with incidences multiplying alarmingly, chlamydia has skyrocketed by 245 per cent since 2016.

To combat this, improving access to diagnostic tests and specialized STI management centres forms another cornerstone of the health strategy.

These centres are touted not only for their expertise but also for their non-judgemental approach to care.

This concerted effort by the Health Ministry aims not just to stem the tide of rising STI rates but also to change the narrative around sexual health in Spain.

By adopting a multifaceted approach that includes free condom distribution, enhanced sexual education, and better access to diagnostic services, the government is taking significant steps towards safeguarding the sexual health of its younger population.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.