$60,000 to develop better sexual health programs

The European Union's Da Vinci program is meant to help raise awareness of sexual health issues among young adults and teens. The program recently awarded the Warwickshire country initiative, Respect Yourself, almost $50,000 (€40,000) to lower pregnancy and common STD rates in the area, according to The Rugby Advertiser.

And how are the campaign managers deciding to spend some of the money? By going to the Netherlands, where the rate of teen pregnancy is five times lower than in the United Kingdom.

"It is [a] sad and well documented fact that teenage pregnancy and STI rates in the UK are too high and we could do well to learn from the practice of our Dutch counterparts," Warwickshire County councilor Heather Timms explained to the publication. "This project is a first for Warwickshire and for local authorities nationwide so the future scope for sharing our learning will be broad."

The Respect Yourself campaign will reach out to a variety of professionals so that they can be trained to work with young people to reduce pregnancy rates in the near future.

"Warwickshire will be using [the EU] funding to address the factors deemed to 'make a difference' to improving the sexual health of young people and reduce the teenage pregnancy rates which will inform our future aims," Respect Yourself campaign manager Amy Danahay told the news provider.

Teen sex education is an important part of any official school classes. The GutterMacher Institute showed that, while more than 80 percent of young people were knowledgeable about HIV, STIs and abstinence, far fewer had been taught how to use a condom or other critical contraceptive information. Overall, 46 percent of males and 33 percent of females had known about safer sex practices before engaging in sex for the first time.  

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