BU’s Condom Fairy Turns Five
Run by Student Health Services Wellness & Prevention at Boston University, Condom Fairy was a program created in response to the growing number of college students reporting that they were having unprotected sex. Foundational research revealed that barriers for obtaining safe sex supplies were the cost of products, accessibility to products, and embarrassment that resulted from buying safe sex supplies. Condom Fairy protected privacy and streamlined access to condoms and other safe sex supplies by having students fill out a simple online request form detailing their order. Once processed, orders placed by students would be delivered to their mailbox in a discreet package 5-7 business days later. Students who enrolled in this program could choose from a variety of products, including three brands of male condoms, two kinds of personal lubricants, female “internal” condoms, and oral dams. In addition to receiving their supplies, participants could also opt-in to receive Condom Fairy Magazine, which addressed topics like how to use a condom and how to ask for consent. Designed for students, the magazine was also created by students known as Wellness & Prevention Student Health Ambassadors. These undergraduate students had been trained by professionals on how to communicate with their peers about sexual health and relationships, and in addition to creating the magazine, they were also responsible for assembling and mailing Condom Fairy packages. The Condom Fairy distributed approximately 5,000 packages annually. To evaluate the success of the program, follow-up surveys were sent to customers about one month after ordering safe sex supplies. Survey results indicated that 91% of students who used the program felt that it made it easier to practice safe sex, and 66% said that they made more responsible decisions as a direct result of the program.
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