Making it Free to be Safe this Valentine’s Day
Territorians are being encouraged to share the love, not sexually transmissible infections (STI) this Valentine’s and National Condom Day with a series of maps identifying where Territorians can access free condoms.
The Top End Health Service’s Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus unit have released Where are Free Condoms? maps for Darwin, Alice Springs, Palmerston, Katherine and Tennant Creek.
To encourage safe sexual practices free condoms are available at various locations including public toilets, sexual health clinics – Clinic 34 - and other health service providers and community organisations across the NT.
Sexual Health Physician Dr Manoji Gunathilake said the maps form part an initiative to normalise condoms and safer sex products in the Territory.
“Access to free products that encourage safe sexual practices is a vital strategy to prevent sexually transmissible infections,” Dr Gunathilake said.
“You’re at risk of an STI if you are engaging in sexual practices and not using condoms. Condoms are the best form of protection from most STIs – this is the message we want Territorians to hear loud and clear this Valentine’s and National Condom Day.”
“According to surveys among young people, over a third of participants (37%) reported always using condoms, 40% said they do sometimes, and 22% never use them. We want to increase the numbers of young people using condoms as they are the best protection from both STIs and unwanted pregnancy.”
“Evidence show that if young people have a condom with them, they use it, which is why these maps of free condom locations are so important to preventing the spread of STIs.”
Dr Gunathilake said sexual health is an important part of our general health that can have a big impact on family and friends also.
“If you’re having sex, it is recommended that you have a sexual health check at least once a year, and more often if you have sex without a condom or got a new partner.”
Partner organisations have supported the push for access for free products include Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council, Wurli Wurlinjang Health Service, Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, and Clinic 34 locations in Darwin, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs.
The maps are available to view online here.