CONDOMS will be freely available from 10 Port Fairy businesses as festival goers descend on the town for Folkie.
It’s the first time the initiative had been implemented in the town to increase the amount of condoms and help reduce the rate of sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies.
Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West (WHWBSW) chief executive officer Emily Lee-Ack said large areas had been identified in the region where condom availability was limited or non existent.
She said in Port Fairy there were three locations where condoms could be purchased but there was no option after hours.
Ms Lee-Ack said it could also be difficult for people in smaller communities to buy condoms given the often lack of anonymity.
She said the town had been identified given the huge population increase the Port Fairy Folk Festival created. “There has been a focus in the last couple of years at music festivals because of population surges,” she said.
According to the Victorian Women’s Health Atlas, the Barwon South West region was on par with state average for chlamydia rates and had slightly higher rates of unintended pregnancy.
Moyne and Warrnambool had also been identified for higher rates of chlamydia than the state average.
Warrnambool and Moyne shires had rates of 25.7 and 30.29 per 10,000 of population, respectively.
There was also evidence to suggest an emerging STI spike in older cohorts.
Ms Lee-Ack said reasons given for the increase in the older population could be linked to changes in sexual relationships in later life and reduced access to health literacy for people post-school.
The condoms will be available from The Stump Hotel, The Vic Hotel, The Star Hotel, Pash, Evolve, The Hub, Eco Tuk Port Fairy, Love Her Madly, Sterling Espresso Bar and Wishart Gallery.
The initiative was supported by Womens Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West, Moyne Health Services and Moments Condoms.