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Condoms for the carefree pupils

Germany

The first condom machine to be installed in a German school for the use of all pupils has been met with mixed reactions.

The machine was put in place recently in a corridor at Robert-Jungk comprehensive, in Berlin.

Local councillors, school administrators and health organisations said easy access to contraceptives would help to reduce HIV-Aids infection rates as well as pregnancies among the young.

But Church representatives believe the move will promote promiscuity among students.

Headteacher Ruth Garstka said she wanted the machine in school because the "carefree generation" needed protection.

Dismissing the objections of the Church, she added: "It does not mean you're going to start a fire because you have a fire alarm."

The average age for first-time sex in Germany is 13. Each year about 1,000 girls become pregnant, while a fifth of new cases of HIV-Aids are found in men and women under 20.

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