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Condom machines spark debate

SOUTH Gippslanders have 24 hour access to condoms thanks to new vending machines but not everyone is happy with a decision to locate the machines near children’s playgrounds.
Condom vending machines have been installed in all abilities toilets in Korumburra, Leongatha, Mirboo North, Foster and Venus Bay to make it easier and more private for people to buy condoms.
The initiative by Gippsland Southern Health Service and South Gippsland Shire Council is part of the Gippsland Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy in a bid to reduce the incidence of sexually transmissible infections in Victoria.
The rates of such infections, particularly Chlamydia, have been rising dramatically over the past decade and regional statistics are higher than metropolitan.
Chlamydia infections left untreated can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease and infertility in woman and testicular problems in men. Chlamydia is most commonly seen in young people.
Gippsland Women’s Health’s health promotion coordinator Selena Gilham said, “We are delighted that South Gippsland Council and Gippsland Southern Health Service have partnered with us for this project. The council has installed the condom vending machines and Gippsland Southern Health Service will be responsible for keeping the machines stocked.”
Installation of the machines and the initial condoms was funded by the Gippsland Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy. The revenue from the sales of the condoms will be used to restock the machines, keeping the project cost neutral. A pack of two condoms will cost $2 (one $2 coin).
The strategy also includes support for schools to provide comprehensive relationship and sexuality education.
Robyn Butler, a nurse with Leongatha Healthcare, said, “We are very supportive of the initiative to provide ready access to condoms for everyone for self protection against sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy.”
Via Facebook, The Star informed the community of the availability of condom vending machines at public toilets at Leongatha’s McIndoe Park and Michael Place public toilets; Mirboo North’s Baromi Park; Foster’s Pearl Park; Venus Bay’s Jupiter Boulevard; and Korumburra’s Wayside Stop.
While some people supported the machines, others felt they should not be placed near children’s playgrounds, such as at McIndoe Park and Jupiter Boulevard.
Comments included:
Lisa Browning: “Seriously… McIndoe Park. That was designed as a family friendly park. Do you realise more will be scattered through that park than will be used appropriately. I think one, which is at the hall, would be sufficient”;
Sandi Joy: “This is a harm minimisation project.. the whole idea is the prevention of the increasing number of STDs that are abundant in our community and secondly to prevent teen and unwanted pregnancies… overall it will provide the opportunity for the education and open discussion on the theme of abstaining or developing safe sex practices in our community… it’s not about litter”;
Scotty Hillis: “I’ll be curious to know how many used condoms will be floating around the park for kids to pick up. Come on.. toilets behind the hall.. correct move. McIndoe Park? Come on”;
Liz Sharpley: “Playgrounds!!!!! Inappropriate”; and
Esther Hofman: “South Gippsland is actually a hotspot for STIs in particular, Chlamydia. If we are stopping this and other diseases from spreading then that is a great thing!”

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=24754

Posted by on Apr 24 2018. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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