Improving Access to Condoms for Rural Young People

Project Summary

Condoms are the best form of prevention for sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and can also prevent unintended pregnancy. Condom vending machines are practical, cheap and effective, particularly for young people wanting affordable and anonymous access to condoms. However, in many rural areas condom vending machines 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 condom vending machines in locations where young people can access them (ie. public bathrooms that are open 24 hours).

CERSH first piloted the project in the Hume region to install Condom Vending Machines (CVMs) in Campaspe, Strathbogie and City of Greater Shepparton. The project evaluation concluded that CVMs installed in rural towns are accessible to young people after business hours, are cost-effective for councils and have not generated any complaints from residents.

CERSH coordinated the second roll out of the project in 2014 with four councils in the Loddon Mallee region – Buloke, Gannawarra, Loddon and Greater City of Bendigo.

CERSH commenced the third roll out of the project in 2017 and has assisted Mansfield, Benalla, Indigo, Mildura, Wangaratta, Alpine and Murrindindi Councils to have machines installed in public toilets across their rural townships. The below map shows all the locations across rural/regional Victoria where vending machines are installed (to the best of our knowledge) and where there are gaps, that we will continue to advocate for access.

Project Objective

To interrupt the transmission of chlamydia trachomatis among rural young people by enhancing local access to affordable condoms.

Project Contact

If you can assist with improving access to condoms for young people in your local area, please email CERSH at cersh-admin@unimelb.edu.au to start the conversation.

Evaluation of Project Pilot in Hume Region

Information Sheet for Rural Councils