Improve Access to Condoms for Rural Young People
Condoms are the best form of prevention for sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and can also prevent unintended pregnancy. For rural young people, issues of privacy, lack of transport and cost are some of the barriers that prevent them from accessing condoms.
We encourage workers to identify where condoms are available for young people in their region and how accessible and affordable they are. Think about locations that young people visit and how you can work with businesses and services in your area to improve access to condoms.
CERSH may be able to assist with providing resources, such as condom dispensers and condom vending machines. Below is a resource that outlines the importance and impact of condom vending machines.
Condom Vending Machine Program
Condom vending machines (CVMs) are practical, cheap and effective, particularly for young people wanting affordable and anonymous access to condoms. However, in many rural areas CVMs are located in venues not accessible to young people (ie. pubs, clubs).
Since 2011 CERSH has been working with local councils, across the Hume and Loddon Mallee regions, to advocate for, and assist in, the installation of CVMs in locations where young people can access them (ie. public bathrooms that are open 24 hours).
CERSH invites and encourages participation from councils across rural Victoria to include CVM installation as part of their public health program. Contact CERSH to see how we can assist in improving access to condoms for the rural young people in your local area.
Condom Dispenser Program
Condom dispensers are a great option for providing access to free condoms and are suitable for settings such as youth centres, health services and education settings. CERSH has provided condom dispenser units for many services and organisations across rural Victoria, including many high schools.
The dispensers are easily mounted to a wall and can be placed in a discrete area such as a bathroom area or hallway.
If your local area has limited access to condoms for young people and you can identify suitable settings for condom dispensers, get in touch with CERSH to see how we might be able to help.