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10 June 2010, 06:00
Youngsters in Gloucestershire are being offered free condoms a part of a new scheme to improve awareness of sexual health.
The ‘C-card scheme’ is a joint initiative between NHS Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire County Council’s Youth Support Service team.
Under 25's will be able to register at approved venues to receive a C-card, this will entitle them to free condoms from GP surgeries, pharmacies, further education colleges and youth centres.
As part of the registration process, young people will also have a confidential one to one chat with a trained C-card worker, such as a school nurse. The session will include support on how to use condoms safely and advice on other sexual health services, including free Chlamydia testing.
Dr Shona Arora, Director of Public Health at NHS Gloucestershire said:
‘NHS Gloucestershire is committed to providing sexual health services that are welcoming to young people to help them look after their sexual health’.
‘Condoms are the best protection against both STIs and unplanned pregnancy, and the C-card scheme is an excellent way to encourage young people to take responsibility for contraception’.
‘The scheme also offers a safe ‘space’ for young people to talk about sexual health concerns with trained professionals and acts as a referral point to other contraception and sexual health services’.
Similar condom distribution schemes are up and running in other parts of the country including a number of successful schemes in the South West.
To find out more about how to register for the C-card scheme got to www.sexhelpglos.nhs.uk