FLINT (WJRT) (11/27/2017) - Genesee County is a perennial leader in the rates for sexual transmitted diseases among Michigan's 87 counties.
Genesee has the third highest rate of Gonorrhea, four highest rate of Chlamydia and fifth highest rate fo Syphilis, based on the most recent data available from 2015.
To combat the rising STD rates, the health department will begin passing out free condoms beginning Friday through a campaign entitled Wear One. The program started in Ottawa County in 2014 and is expanding around the state.
Wear One aims to increase free condom availability, create awareness, and promote acceptance of condom use by individuals. The health department says the program removes barriers such as cost, embarrassment and lack of access -- main reasons why many people avoid condoms.
The health department says abstinence remains the best way to protect against sexually transmitted infections. However, condoms are the best way to prevent infections among sexually active people.
The free condoms being passed out beginning on Friday will come in discreet packages that also include lubricant and educational materials. Packages will be available free at a number of bars, salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors other locations.
See the Genesee County Health Department's website on Friday for a full list of locations passing out the packages. Businesses or organizations interested in passing out condom packages can call 810-257-3194 for more information.