A reader asked us a pretty simple question: Where can I go to get free condoms in Atlanta? Turns out that’s not such an easy question to answer. So I dug in to unwrap this mystery.
Usually, my condoms come from a store and with a price tag. But knowing where to get free ones could be useful, especially if you meet Mr. Right Now and things heat up pretty quickly and you sex it up in your car. So I was up for this condom hunt. Being slutty in Atlanta is tough enough; doing so without condoms adds even more complications.
Unfortunately, there’s not one spot that lists places to get rubbers for free. And trying to find out during the holidays, when lots of non-profits are closed, also factored against my search. Seems like it’s easier to find a sugar daddy in Atlanta over Christmas break than a free condom.
Nevertheless, I persevered.
First, I turned to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. They know a thing or two about HIV, condoms and prevention efforts. Just not where to get free condoms. So says a spokesperson:
Checking in with local organizations would have been one of my suggestions, so I think you’re on the right track there. I would also suggest contacting your local health department to see what information they can provide, or if they can point you in the right direction.
Because CDC is a national organization, we’re not really the best source for local inquiries. I will, however, do some additional checking. If I have anything to pass along, I will be in touch.
Next stop: the Georgia Department of Public Health. Like the CDC, they are pretty steeped in sex stuff and prevention efforts. They’re even hiring to ramp up their HIV prevention efforts. But finding free condoms is a bit out of their reach, too. Though they offered some suggestions:
There isn’t an easy answer to this question. I checked with metro health depts and the answer seems to be, for the most part, individuals can go and get free condoms, especially where there are HIV testing sites. That said, a couple of them said recipients need to be in an STD prevention program to get them.
Individuals can also contact AID Atlanta, Empowerment Resource Center, Grady IDP, NAESM, Positive Impact, SisterLove, Someone Cares, or West Care.
So then I drilled down to local HIV non-profits that serve the gays. Maybe that was the place to start first. But I was hoping for one stop shopping – you know, a Grindr-like resource for condoms. “You are 1,367 feet from free condoms.” No such luck.
But in a testament to the prevention efforts of Atlanta’s HIV groups – at least after the holidays—they came through with condoms and lube. Score! From AID Atlanta’s Evolution Project:
He can get free condoms and lube at The Evolution Project (583 Juniper St. Atlanta, GA), AID Atlanta (1605 Peachtree St.) Planned Parenthood, Positive Impact, Grady Health Clinic and for more locations he can contact the Georgia HIV/STD Info Line at1.800.551.2728, or e-mail at [email protected]
And AID Atlanta’s outreach effort Go Atlanta offered this:
condoms (safer sex kits with lube and condoms) are available at AID Atlanta’s offices. In addition, GO Atlanta (AID Atlanta’s Gay Outreach Program) provides safer sex kits to a number of bar locations in the city. Currently, we do weekly drop offs (provided that we have supplies on hand) to WOOFS, Blake’s on the Park and Friends on Ponce. In the past, we’ve also done drop offs at Burkhart’s, Amsterdam, Manifest and FLEX. We are always open to new partnerships, but our budget is a huge limitation in supplying sex kits to as many locales as we’d like.
In addition, other programs like Deeper Love, SISTA SOL and Evolution also provide safer sex kits.
And this from Positive Impact’s MISTER program, which drops condoms all across the city:
MISTER, of course, provides free condoms to clients and those who need them. All you need to do is drop in and ask! MISTER also has 10 condom dispenser located throughout the city in bars and restaurants like Jungle, Eagle, Cockpit, Joe’s on Juniper and more. You can also find our volunteers at many locations handing out condoms and lube. Other options for condoms would be from the health department or other local service organizations and groups like the Feminist Women’s Health Center, AID Atlanta, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Team Friendly Atlanta, the Panthers or the Armorettes. Some private doctors’ may also have them for their patients.
Condoms and lube galore! Just don’t ask if the condoms fit.