BANGKOK, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Thailand's Ministry of Public Health said teens are promoting the spread of sexually transmitted diseases by buying condoms that are too big for their penises.
Somchaichote Piyawatchwela, a spokesman for the ministry, said teenagers in the country often spring for the larger-sized condoms to avoid being mocked by their friends for having "a small one."
Somchaichote said condoms that are too big for the wearer can "slip in action" and fail to protect against pregnancy and the spread of disease.
The Thai Bureau of Epidemiology said the infection rate of sexually transmitted infections among teenagers rose from 7.53 for every 100,000 people in 2005 to 34.5 per 100,000.
The Health Ministry said it will spend a total $1.95 million to distribute 43 million free condoms this year.
The Moral Promotion Center in Bangkok announced earlier this week it is urging teenagers to steer clear of premarital sex on Valentine's Day with the "Just a Meal for Valentine" campaign.
"Available information suggests that 83 percent of Thai teenagers plan to have sex on Valentine's Day," Sin Suesuan, the center's director-general, said Wednesday. "If they hang out in secluded areas after a meal, there is a possibility that they will opt for sex."