French President Emmanuel Macron announced that condoms would soon be free for young people in an effort to slow the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
In his video announcement, Macron called this move “a small revolution in prevention” and acknowledged that sexual education in the country should be improved.
The condoms will be free at pharmacies from January 2023.
In 2022, France made birth control free to women aged 18 to 25, expanding the previous policy targeting the underaged. Contraception includes pills, IUDs, and contraceptive patches.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), condoms offer one of the most effective methods of protection against STIs when used correctly and consistently. However, condoms do not protect from STIs causing extra-genital ulcers, such as syphilis or genital herpes.
Each year there are 374 million new infections with 1 of 4 curable STIs: chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis, the WHO estimates.