Condoms are now free in French pharmacies for everyone younger than 26 years old as part of the government’s efforts to curb sexually transmitted diseases.
The measure, which went into effect on Jan. 1, was announced by French President Emmanuel Macron in early December. It was originally aimed at French citizens between the ages of 18 and 25, but was expanded to minors as well. France has also made emergency contraception free for all women, according to a government spokesman’s tweet.
“Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise among young people,” Macron said on Dec. 8. “This is why we are embarking on a small prevention revolution.”
Condoms were already available for free at STD screening centers and some school health centers, according to the French Ministry of Health. French citizens who are 26 or older can be reimbursed for condom purchases with a prescription from a doctor.
France followed the lead of several other European countries last year by making all contraceptive methods free for women and girls up to 25 years old.
Contraception is free in the United Kingdom, while Spain’s health system funds dozens of different birth control methods.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.