Students now have increased access to safe sex supplies at Boynton Health through an initiative launched this week.
Boynton introduced supply-filled carts to their patient care areas in response to focus groups that showed students value confidentiality in accessing safe sex supplies. The carts are stocked with Trojan standard condoms, snugger-fit condoms, Magnum condoms, water and silicone-based lubricants, safer sex and anal sex kits, dental dams and latex-free condoms.
Supplies are free for students, and they can access them by asking their provider during scheduled appointments at Boynton's Primary Care, Urgent Care, Quick Clinic, Specialty Clinic, Mental Health Clinic and Pharmacy, said Health Promotion Specialist Kate Elwell.
Boynton Health decided to expand available supplies after conducting focus groups in spring 2017 centered on international students’ values when accessing sexual health resources. International students surveyed value privacy, confidentiality and the reputation of medical professionals, according to the results. Boynton employees thought these findings would apply to domestic students as well, Elwell said.
“We already had these supplies,” Elwell said. “We are just increasing access and making sure students have a dependable location.”
Boynton doesn’t record who takes what supplies or when, but they do monitor how often the supplies are restocked so they know if students are using the supplies.
These carts are available in the Boynton’s Minneapolis and St. Paul clinics. In the near future, students will be able to use papers to indicate what supplies they want, eliminating potentially uncomfortable verbal communication that could discourage somebody from requesting supplies, Elwell said.
If a student doesn’t want to schedule an appointment with Boynton to get supplies, they can access them through Boynton’s Sexual Health Awareness and Disease Education group, said senior SHADE coordinator Rachel Seiler.
“It’s honestly such a simple intervention if you think about it,” Selier said. “Even if we’re only giving a couple supplies a week, I think as long as students know about it I would consider it successful.”
About 52 percent of sexually active University students used a condom the last time they engaged in vaginal intercourse, and about 9 percent reported being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection in their lifetime, according to most recent available data from the 2015 College Student Health Survey Report.
On average, Boynton gives out 100,000 condoms each year, Elwell said.