The American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday issue a revised policy statement advocating the use of condoms by teenagers pointing to the "unacceptably high" rates of STIs/HIV that currently exists among adolescents.
In an abstract of the Academy's revised policy statement on condom use published in the organization's journal Pediatrics, pediatricians noted that while positive markers such as a decline in teen pregnancies and sexual activity were evident, STI/HIV infections are too high.
"Rates of sexual activity, pregnancies, and births among adolescents have continued to decline during the past decade to historic lows. Despite these positive trends, many adolescents remain at risk for unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)," noted the pediatricians in the abstract.
"Rates of acquisition of STIs/HIV among adolescents remain unacceptably high," it highlighted before recommending better access to condoms for America's teens.
"Interventions that increase availability or accessibility to condoms are most efficacious when combined with additional individual, small-group, or community-level activities that include messages about safer sex," said the abstract.
In a response to the high and increasing STD infection rate among adolescents in places like Fresno and San Diego in California, the federally funded Condom Access Project (CAP) of California Family Health Council (CFHC) is already making condoms available to adolescents as young as 12.
The project noted in a release on its website that teens and young adults have the highest rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia of all age groups in California.
The group also highlighted other alarming facts about STDs among California's teenagers.
In 2011 4,828 cases of gonorrhea and 42,504 cases of chlamydia were reported in males and females 15 to 19 years of age in California. Those figures represented 18 percent of all gonorrhea cases and more than a quarter of all chlamydia cases statewide.
The CAP allows children as young as 12 in San Diego County to sign up for the service online and they can order up-to 10 free condoms a month.
"It will prompt you for your address and your birthdate and if everything lines up you'll be able to order and receive a package of free condoms and educational information," Amy Coy, spokesperson for the California Condom Access Project, told Fox 5 San Diego.
Some conservative parents criticized the program as something that interfered in the relationship between parents and children.
"It's one more example of the government's intrusion on parental rights," said Chris Clark, pastor at Clairemont Baptist Church in San Diego.
"I would ask parents the question: who should be making decisions for the welfare of your child? You or should the state," he added.
Earlier this year, The Christian Post reported that New York City public schools handed out nearly 13,000 doses of the morning-after pill to high school students during the last school year, and under school policy parents did not have to know about it.