Question: Are all young people in their teenage years accessing condoms sexually active?
Answer: Not necessarily, many will be accessing condoms for other reasons such as to try them out, curiosity, to be prepared, bravado in front of peers.
Question: I'm providing condoms to under 16s in my service - will I be encouraging sexual activity?
Answer: Whilst the scheme might create awareness of the availability of free condoms it does not directly encourage sexual activity. Young people accessing the scheme may have sex without protection if condoms are not available or if they are difficult to obtain. Ideally, the Free Condoms service strives to remove significant barriers such as cost or embarrassment. Messages encouraging young people to delay sexual activity can be used by distributors in one to one situations.
Question: I'm at a busy reception desk, how can I discuss condom use with a young person?
Answer: Many organisations have chosen to have a member of staff available who can have a discreet, private conversation with a young person. This avoids any embarrassment for the young person in a public space.
Question: What if I get a complaint from a parent?
Answer: You can explain the principles and values of the free condom scheme i.e. that this is an accessible service that has been put in place to reduce unintended pregnancy and STIs. You might also want to state that young people have the right to access health services and that checks are put in place to ensure that young people are not at harm. Any complaints can be directed to the Free Condoms Manager who will be happy to discuss any issues further.