Our condom and lube distribution scheme

Since 1994, The Lesbian & Gay Foundation has been providing free Condoms and Lube (as well as information regarding correct condom use, STI and HIV prevention) across Greater Manchester for gay and bisexual men.

condom pack 2014The Condom and Lube Safer Sex Scheme, originated by Healthy Gay Manchester and continued after the amalgamation of HGM and Manchester Lesbian & Gay Switchboard in 2000 in to the LGF we know today, is one of the longest running and highly regarded of its kind, with over 500,000 individual condoms and 500,000 sachets of water based lube distributed every year.

  • 85% of gay and bisexual men stated that they are more likely to use the scheme because it is targeted at GB men.

  • 99.3% of men surveyed said it is either very or quite easy to get LGF Safer Sex Packs.

  • 95.2% of GB men said that they have either adopted or maintained safer sex behaviours since first noticing the Safer Sex Packs.

Positive Feedback

Thank you for providing this service enabling us to promote safer sex.” – An addiction service in Oldham.

Thanks for always being consistently good.” – A gay village bar.

If you want to know more about where your nearest distribution point is or if you’re finding condoms add more stress than pleasure to your sex life, why not email us at men@lgf.org.uk, call us on 0845 3 30 30 30 or pop-in!

More about the history of our CLDS

Back in 1994 a brand new scheme was developed to combat HIV among men who have sex with men that has since become an institution in and around Greater Manchester.

The Lesbian & Gay Foundation's Condom & Lube Distribution Scheme is now nationally significant as it is the UK's longest running service of its kind.

Over the years the scheme has inspired many other initiatives both at home and abroad.

In order to make sure that the scheme continues to meet the needs of the men it is aimed at The Lesbian & Gay Foundation asked men who were attending Manchester Pride in 2009 for their opinions on the Condom & Lube Distribution Scheme.

The responses of 366 of those who completed full evaluations on the scheme are contained in a new report entitled 'Proud to be Safer' which also provides a history of the scheme and more information about The Lesbian & Gay Foundation's ongoing work around sexual health.

The last time The Lesbian & Gay Foundation evaluated it's condom and lube distribution scheme on such a scale was in 2004 to coincide with it's tenth anniversary.

Then, as now, reports suggest strong support for the scheme across the community and the public health and commercial sectors that the Lesbian & Gay Foundation work in partnership with.

Key Findings

  • 98% of the men interviewed said that their condom use had increased ofr stayted the same since they noticed LGF's safer sex packs.
  • 98% of those asked felt it was important that a community organisation such as LGF provided free condoms and lube.
  • 97% of gay and bisexual men interviewed said that they felt comfortnale introducing the safer sex packs to their sexual partners
  • 97% of those asked reported that it was very easy or quite easy to get access to the Free Gay Men's Safer Sex Packs.
  • 96% of all those interviewed, said it was important that there was a free condom scheme for gay and bisexual men.
  • 86% said that bars and clubs were the most popular places to pick up LGF's Safer Sex packs.
  • 83% of all men asked said they very rarely feel embaressed  about picking up th e packs

The Condom and Lube Distribution Scheme is one of the longest running and highly regarded of its kind. Over 600,000 individual condoms and 600,000 sachets of water based lube are distributed every year.

The scheme is promoted throughout over 80 venues. Wherever gay or bisexual men live in Greater Manchester they shouldn't be too far away from their nearest stockist of LGF's Free Gay Men's Safer Sex Packs.

In addition the scheme has been recognised as one of the most accessible free condom and lube distribution schemes for gay and bisexual men by Sigma Research (gay men's sex survey 2006)

All of the gay bars and clubs in Manchester's Gay village make the free condom and lube freely available. They can also be found at sexual health clinics, saunas, hotels and many other venues.

Today the LGF's Condom and lube Distribution Scheme is the largest in the country (outside of London) and is something that the organisation and the community at large are very proud of.

The Free Condom & Lube Distribution Scheme is funded by local Primary Care Trusts, and Manchester Pride funds (raised through ticket sales) help to make sure that condoms and lube remain free and available throughout the year where they are needed most.

Commenting on the scheme Rob Cookson, Director of Services, LGF says

"One of the key aims of the Lesbian and Gay Foundation is to reduce the numbers of gay and bisexual men who are picking up and passing on HIV and tackling the spread of sexually transmitted infections. To do this it is essential that all men who have sex with men in the Greater Manchester area have easy access to a range of sexual health services, including testing, sexual health training, outreach and information.

"Free condoms and water based lube is an essential tool in the fight against the spread of HIV."

Thank You's

It is only because of the support of Greater Manchester's Local Authorities and those who support schemes such as Manchester Pride that the Free Condom & Lube Distribution Scheme for gay and bisexual men remains free of charge every day of the year throughout 80 venues across Greater Manchester.

The Lesbian & Gay Foundation would like to thank all of the venues that are a key partner in the distribution of the Condom & Lube Distribution Scheme, the pubs, clubs, saunas, GUM clinics, universities, colleges and  many community venues who proudly display the Free Gay Men's Safer Sex Packs so prominently.

A very special thanks to all the volunteer condom packers who have given their time for so many years and have been such an important part of the success of this scheme.

Thank you to all the guys who have helped promote the scheme by allowing us to use their images and be the faces of our many sexual health campaigns.

To our many suppliers who put up with our ever increasing demands.

To all of the staff and volunteers who gave up their free time to help promote the survey and all the gay and bisexual men who completed it.

And to all those who have played the most important part in making sure that they continue to be 'proud to be safer'.

condom report 2010

Proud to be safer

Released/updated: 2010

Our report on the impact of the free condom and lube distribution scheme (CLDS) in Greater Manchester over the last 16 years.

This report also includes in-depth details of a survey carried out recently where we asked 612 men who have sex with men for their opinion on the CLDS.

Download .pdf (3.7Mb)