Are Condom Availability Programs in Seattle Working to Reduce Disease?

Evaluation of a condom availability program in Seattle high schools

The Seattle Public School District 1, Seattle, conducted an evaluation of an HIV/AIDS prevention and condom-availability program at public high schools in Seattle.

The school district conducted the evaluation through two student surveys, one administered in 1993, before the high schools began providing condoms, and the second in 1995, after they had begun making them available to students. The surveys were designed to measure the impact of condom availability upon student contraceptive use and sexual behavior.

Key Findings

The project director reported the following findings in the February 1999 issue of the American Journal of Public Health:

  • School condom availability does not hasten or increase student sexual activity, and that making condoms available to students did not increase condom use.
  • According to the researchers, the findings call into question whether the political effort necessary to implement condom-availability programs in schools will always result in increases in condom use, since students may already have ample access to condoms.

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided partial support to the evaluation with a grant of $47,685 between May 1993 and September 1995.