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Barrier Methods
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Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

- Health
- Objectives
- How to Obtain
- One Method
- Dual-Method
- Choices
> Services
- Marketing
- Distribution
- Management
- Logistics


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Section 3 - Barrier Methods and Reproductive Health:
Programmatic Concerns

STD Prevention Services

  • Providing information on STDsMale condoms
  • Assessing clients' risk for STDs
  • Counseling clients about safe sexual behaviors
  • Promoting and distributing condoms

Slide 42

When programs evaluate the reproductive health service needs of their clients, they should consider STD prevention services. These basic services include: providing information on STDs, assessing clients’ risks for STDs, counseling clients about safe sexual behaviors, and promoting and distributing condoms. Further STD services, including diagnosis and treatment, will be discussed in a moment.

To provide these services, family planning programs need to train staff in how to assess clients’ risks for STDs and to counsel them regarding method choice. Good materials explaining the risks of STDs are needed. Unfortunately, many people seeking family planning services are not aware of their partner’s sexual activities outside the relationship. This means they may not know that they are at increased risk. If they suspect they may be at risk, they may want to use barrier methods as a precaution.

Training in counseling can help providers understand how to address these sensitive issues. Counseling should address changing unsafe sexual behaviors among clients and their partners. Although this type of counseling may initially be uncomfortable for both clients and providers, it is extremely important to assist clients at risk of STDs. It also may be comforting to some clients to be able to talk about these issues.

The safest sexual behavior is abstaining from sex. For those who are sexually active, safe behaviors include using condoms, reducing the number of partners, choosing partners carefully and engaging in low-risk sexual practices.

Programs need to promote condoms, including their consistent and correct use, and make them readily available to those who need them. Promotion and distribution may involve many types of outreach efforts. Two particularly important approaches are social marketing and community-based distribution efforts, which we will discuss in the next two slides.



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