Effective Interventions

Effective Interventions

High Impact Prevention

Condom distribution programs can be cost-effective structural interventions that provide communities with the resources they need to prevent the spread of HIV.

Colorful Condom WrappersMaking condoms widely available is integral to successful HIV prevention. Condom distribution programs have been shown to increase condom availability and use among a wide range of populations, including youth and adult males, commercial sex workers, and those who engage in risky sexual activities.

An effective condom distribution program can change the way a community thinks about and engages in safe sex behavior. To achieve that goal, condom distribution programs should strive to make condoms available, accessible, and acceptable. This section of effectiveinterventions.org offers tools to help with the design, management, and monitoring of a successful condom distribution program in your community.

Click the links under "More Info…" on the right to access program development information, links to existing condom distribution programs, educational resources, and sources of technical assistance.

Three "A's" for Condom Distribution Program Success

Ensure that condoms are available in the environment where members of the target population are found, such as pharmacies, condom dispensing machines, and outreach workers.

Ensure unrestricted access to condoms that are available in the environment by providing free condoms that are conveniently located in multiple locations.

Ensure that the norms within a community support the use of condoms and that the types are acceptable to community members by producing products that are popular and supported by opinion leaders and public figures.

Research and Development

Blankenship, K.M., Bray, S.J., & Merson M.H. (2000). "Structural Interventions in Public Health." AIDS, 14:S11-21.

Charania, M.R, et al., "Efficacy of Structural-Level Condom Distribution Interventions: A Meta-Analysis of U.S. and International Studies, 1998-2007." AIDS Behav (2011) 15:1283-1297.

Duncan, Ted and Charles Collins. (2011) "Condom Distribution Programs as Structural Interventions." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, a Presentation.

Program Review Panel Information

The CDC requires all CDC-funded agencies developing condom distribution programs to identify, or establish, and utilize a Program Review Panel and complete Form 0.1113 to document this activity. The intervention researchers and developers are not involved in this activity. This is a CDC requirement for their grantees, and all questions in this regard should be directed to your agency's CDC Project Officer or to the health department funding your agency's implementation of the intervention.

The Program Review Panel guidelines, instructions for completion of Form 0.113, and the form itself are available under the Related Resources section of this website. 

CDC Policy on Youth Peer Outreach Workers

CDC funded (directly or indirectly) agencies using youth (either paid or volunteer) in program outreach activities need to use caution and judgment in the venues/situations where youth workers are placed. Agencies should give careful consideration to the "age appropriateness" of the activity or venue. Additionally, agencies should comply with all relevant laws and regulations regarding entrance into adult establishments/environments. Laws and curfews should be clearly outlined in required safety protocols developed and implemented by agencies directly and indirectly funded by CDC.

If you have specific questions, please contact your CDC project officer.

More Info

Additional CDC Resources for Condom Distribution



  1. Provide condoms free of charge.
  2. Conduct wide-scale distribution.
  3. Implement a social marketing campaign to promote condom use (by increasing awareness of condom benefits and normalizing condom use within communities).
  4. Conduct both promotion and distribution activities at the individual, organizational, and environmental levels.
  5. Target:
    1. individuals at high risk,
    2. venues frequented by high-risk individuals,
    3. communities at greatest risk for HIV infection, especially those marginalized by social, economic, or other structural conditions, or
    4. the general population within jurisdictions with high HIV incidence.
  6. Supplement the condom distribution program with more intense risk reduction interventions or other prevention or health services for individuals at highest risk. Integrate distribution program activities within other community-level intervention approaches to promote condom use and other risk reduction behaviors.
  7. Establish organizational support for condom distribution and promotion activities in traditional and non-traditional venues.
  8. Conduct community-wide mobilization efforts to support and encourage condom use.

The materials on this site are designed for HIV/AIDS prevention with persons at risk for acquiring or transmitting HIV. They are meant to be resources used by HIV prevention providers such as health departments and community-based organizations so as to provide the best evidence-based HIV prevention services. These materials are not meant for the general public. They are not meant for children. They are not school-based HIV prevention strategies.