Health Minister Monica Garcia announced the government's decision for the first time at the Senate Health Committee.

"When considering the option of free vaccination to prevent an infection, it doesn't make sense that an effective option like condoms is not among the measures," Garcia said.

Noting that the ministry wants the cost of condoms to be covered by the public health system, Garcia said there has been a significant increase in sexually transmitted infections.

Garcia pointed to the alarming rise in sexually transmitted infections as the reason behind the potential measure.

Details of the project have not yet been officially released by the government.

The Health Ministry told Euronews that the plan is still under consideration.

Meanwhile, the official Spanish news agency EFE reported that free condoms will be available to young people between the ages of 14 and 22, regardless of their income.

According to EFE, citing ministry sources, young people will be able to obtain condoms in pharmacies through their health cards.

The ministry will need to coordinate with local governments on the issue, as local governments are the sole authority on health matters in Spain.

Sexually transmitted diseases on the rise in Europe

According to a new report released by the Ministry of Health, gonorrhea and syphilis infections have been on the rise in the country since the early 2000s.

The number of infections per 100,000 inhabitants more than tripled between 2016 and 2022 in cases of sexually transmitted infections caused by the chlamydia bacteria.

According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), gonorrhea cases increased by 48 percent, syphilis cases by 34 percent and chlamydia cases by 16 percent in 2022 compared to the previous year.

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In France, another EU country, condoms have been free for young people under the age of 26 since January last year and the cost is reimbursed by the national health insurance.

Editor: Albert Owen