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Cork Independent


That's a wrap as pharmacy gives out free condoms

Monday, 11th February, 2019 11:03am

It's not just Johnny that has you covered this week for those looking to spice up Valentine's Day!

A deal has been rubber stamped where thousands of free condoms will be given out this week across the country including Cork by CarePlus Pharmacy to help to promote a culture of safe sex in Ireland.

Each of the chain’s 60 pharmacies nationwide will take part in Sexual Health Awareness Week starting tomorrow and running until 19 February.

The free condoms will be packaged with information on the importance of safe sex, and freely available from the counter without asking in each pharmacy.

Figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Unit of the HSE show that rates of chlamydia, herpes simplex and gonorrhea are on the rise. For example, people in the age group 15-24 accounted for 51 per cent of all chlamydia cases reported.

CarePlus Pharmacist, John Keane said: “The days of people being embarrassed about condoms in pharmacies are long gone, but the statistics show that many young people are not as careful as they should be. People should know that they can talk to their pharmacist, in privacy and confidentiality, about anything including their sexual health.”

Condoms are currently considered to be a luxury item, and subject to the higher rate of VAT. Niamh Lynch, Commercial Director for CarePlus Pharmacy, hopes that will some day change.

She said: “Given the impact that STIs (sexually transmitted infections) can have on people, it’s clear that price should not be a barrier to safe sex. If we can draw attention to the matter by distributing free condoms this week, hopefully it might give rise to a discussion about whether they are still a luxury item in 2019.”

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