This week, UNC Student Wellness will install free condom dispensers in 10 restrooms throughout the Carolina Union and Campus Recreation!
UNC students have shown overwhelming support for the installation of the condom dispensers. Last Friday, the student group SASH (Student Advocates for Sexual Health) sponsored a photo campaign allowing students to make their voices heard in support of the dispensers. Check out the slide show below:
Consistent, correct condom use affords protection against unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STI), and is a critical component of STI risk reduction and pregnancy prevention strategies. During the 2011-2012 academic year, more than 18,000 condoms were provided (free of charge) to UNC students; however, condom use among students remains low. In a 2011 survey of UNC students, 79% of students reported having vaginal sex in the last year. However, only 44% report using a condom for vaginal intercourse; additionally, only 25% reported condom use for anal intercourse, and 3% for oral sex. Various barriers to condom use have been documented, including cost and availability.
Research on condom provision programs shows that access to safer sex supplies does not encourage earlier or increased sexual activity. In fact, there is evidence that provision of safer sex supplies delays age at first sex, and increases the proportion of protected sex acts without increasing the frequency of sex. One UNC Resident Advisor reacted to the condom dispensers saying, “I think it would allow people to access the supplies without having to ‘be seen’ by a staff member or fellow student. You could see an increase in the safe sex on campus.”
This initiative to increase access to and affordability of safer sex supplies is a collaborative project between UNC Student Wellness, Campus Recreation, the Carolina Union, and the UNC Center for AIDS Research.