Icelandic Epidemiologist Wants Condoms In Primary Schools - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelandic Epidemiologist Wants Condoms In Primary Schools

Published July 15, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Photo by
BrokenSphere/Wikimedia Commons

The country’s high incidence of syphilis—the highest per capita in Europe— as well as a high incidence of chlamydia has prompted a new proposal from one of Iceland’s epidemiologists, RÚV reports: distribute condoms in primary schools.

According to a new report from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Iceland holds the dubious distinction of having the highest per capita incidence of syphilis in Europe: 15.4 cases per 100,000 individuals. Further, these incidences have been on the rise.

Chlamydia cases have been declining, but are still high, at 1,850 reported cases last year. All this together has prompted epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason to propose a new tactic: the free distribution of condoms in primary school.

“There are a lot of people against this idea, many parents,” he told reporters. “But we need to have a thorough discussion about this and to do everything we can to stop the spread of these diseases, which can turn very serious.”

Þórólfur added that symptoms of chlamydia can be little to none, making regular check-ups especially important.

For the record, primary schools in Iceland typically have students who are as old as 15 years old.

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