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             I walked into Planned Parenthood embarrassed and afraid of what people would think of me. I walked out later, comfortable and more knowledgeable than ever, as knowledgeable as I should have been eighth grade in junior high school. Sex is such a touchy issue in the United States. Many people, adults namely, are hush-hush, embarrassed or hesitant to talk about it openly with the younger population for whatever reason(s). This silence trickles down discouraging teenagers to walk into a drug store and purchase condoms (embarrassment), or walk into Planned Parenthood and pick up condoms for free (embarrassment), more importantly, the silence quiets the essential education in which I, and many others, were deprived of until recently. It was after senior year that I found myself at Planned Parenthood, learning for the first time, how important it is to have and use protection. Each phase of health education I had, flooded through my mind. Only one instance when a birth control method was introduced sparked: slipping a condom on a banana. No recollection of a lesson on what types of birth control methods or where I could get an ample amount of supplies ever came up. I wondered, had I been taught the right education and if condoms were a fixed part of the school program to protect all students, could I had avoided the visit to Planned Parenthood, at least so late in my life? The practice of making condoms available in schools is fairly controversial, which when the program is calling to shield the kids of today and tomorrow, shocks me.
             Condoms are good. Abstinence protects most efficiently, however, for those who already have sex or plan to in the near future, the free distribution of condoms encourages safe sex. When used consistently and correctly, condoms are extremely effective in preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections as well as unplanned pregnancy. Certainly, the use of condoms is more effective than no method at all.

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