France will make condoms free in pharmacies for young people aged 18 to 25 starting from January 1, 2023, President Emmanuel Macron said, in a bid to minimize the rise in sexually transmitted diseases among young people.
Macron announced the new health measure on Friday Dec. 9 and described it as a “small revolution in prevention.”
Health authorities estimate that the rate of STIs increased by about 30% in both 2020 and 2021 in France.
“We are not very good on this subject. The reality is very, very different from the theory,” Macron said.
Currently, France reimburses people for condoms if they are prescribed by a doctor or midwife, but the measure is not well known among young people, according to Radio France Internationale.
Students can also get free condoms at school clinics.
Earlier this year, the French government also passed a new healthcare law, which includes offering free birth control for women up to age 25 to ensure they protect themselves even if they cannot afford it, expanding the scheme from targeting only women under 18.
Women under 25 are no longer charged for medical appointments, tests or other medical procedures related to birth control.
This includes hormonal contraception such as the pill, IUD devices, and contraceptive implants, as well as biological tests, prescriptions and consultations, and care related to the contraceptives.