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updated: 3/20/2014 7:38 AM

2 dozen Chicago high schools to distribute condoms

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Associated Press

Two dozen Chicago public high schools will distribute condoms to students starting this fall under a pilot program designed to curb teen pregnancy and reduce incidents of sexually-transmitted diseases.

According to Chicago's "Action Plan for Healthy Adolescents," the city's birth rate for teens between 15 and 19 years old is 57 per 1,000, twice the number for New York City and 1.5 times the rate nationwide. Also, teens continue to see increased numbers of HIV infections.

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Currently, the Chicago Department of Public Health distributes condoms at 476 locations.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports (http://bit.ly/1gBbvCC) the 24 public schools joining the list is part of a five-year, $20 million federally funded program.

Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Bechara Choucair calls the program a tool to help students make "educated decisions" before having sex.

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