T he National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have issued draft consultation on making condoms more accessible to the 16-24 age group. The document is aimed primarily at local authorities and other organisations that currently provide or are considering the provision of free condoms. Produced just days after an NHS decision not to provide HIV prevention drugs was overturned, the advice in the document recommends that condoms are made more accessible to gay men and young people between the ages of 16 and 24.

The document also recommends including information about local sexual health services in the condom packets as well as displaying poster and providing leaflets about these services at the location where the condoms are available. Other recommendations are for organisations to teach the proper use of condoms to younger people and delivers these services in confidentiality and somewhere that is easily accessible by the younger population.

The new measures are aimed at reducing all STDs, including gonorrhoea, which has recently seen a resurgence in the under 25 population. The main thrust behind the report is to link free condoms with sexual health information and testing services.

Consultation on the guidelines is open until 16th September. To read them, head to www.nice.org.uk

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Natalie has been an LGBT journalist for 12 years and joined the Fyne team in 2001. Her interests outside of work are cycling, running and badminton. She is also studying for a degree in psychology.

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