Introduction Condoms remain a key intervention to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STI), pregnancy and HIV. C-Card is a type of condom distribution scheme (CDS) with condom demonstration and risk assessment at registration, after which free condoms are available to young people, in accessible locations.
Aim Review delivery and C-Card activity in England and its regions in financial year 2015/16, to inform policy, best practice, future monitoring and evaluation.
Methods An online survey was disseminated to sexual health commissioners of 152 upper tier local authorities (UTLA) in England between 17/12/2016 and 10/02/2017. Questionnaire domains collated information on service delivery structure, governance, user information, spend, product availability and provision, and other CDS.
Results 64% (98/152) of UTLAs completed the survey. 20 had both C-Card schemes and CDS, 57 had C-Card schemes, 14 had CDS and 7 had neither. 60 reported 4,560 C-Card outlets. The three most common settings for C-Card schemes were pharmacies (1,363, 30%), youth organisation and educational settings (1,105, 24%) and general practice (996, 22%). In 2015/16, 77 UTLAs reported 65,762 new C-Card user registrations, of which 70% were repeat users. Of 70 reporting product availability, 60 (86%) distributed condoms and lubricants. 28 distributed 896,221 products, of which 85.8% were condoms, 13.7% were lubricants and 0.5% other. Estimated spend on condom schemes were £1,491,937.
Discussion Availability of CDS in most UTLAs and high repeated use of C-Card schemes suggest acceptability and popularity. Improved evaluation of C-Card schemes for STI, pregnancy and HIV prevention is needed to demonstrate their value.
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