22 August 2019

Aberdeenshire Libraries pilot distribution of free condoms to increase community access

Aberdeenshire Libraries are working in partnership with NHS Grampian to increase access to free condoms and sexual health information in the community.

A pilot service will run from next month at Banff and Inverurie libraries, with the aim of reducing unintended pregnancies and preventing the transmission of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

The trial will be used to monitor uptake, assess customer feedback and identify any issues. Condoms will be available in both libraries’ customer toilets, packaged in discrete bags along with sexual health leaflets and relevant NHS contact details.

They will sit alongside other sanitary products in each toilet’s sanitation basket. Visitors do not need to request the service, encouraging uptake by removing the potential for stigma and embarrassment.

The scheme will increase the number of access points for free condoms in Aberdeenshire with a focus on harm reduction.Such initiatives are commonly seen in cities, but less so in rural areas.

The intention is to guide people to sexual health information, providing contacts for further information, with the aim of reducing the number of unintended pregnancies and STIs.

For further information, email Alastair Henderson, Network Librarian at alastair.henderson@aberdeenshire.gov.uk or George Rutten, Public Health Coordinator at g.rutten@nhs.net