Knowledge of a formal source of condoms among young people

Export Indicator

The percentage of young people who know of at least one formal source of male or female condoms.
What it measures

This indicator measures the proportion of young people who can name at least one formal source of condoms. Studies have demonstrated that adolescents who know of at least one source of condoms are much more likely than other adolescents to use them. It should be noted that there may be many acceptable answers to the question on sources, e.g. health centres, pharmacies, stores, outreach clinics, vending machines or any other formal structure or setting where condoms can be purchased or obtained free of charge. A definition of the exact range of acceptable sources should be produced in each national setting.


The number of young people aged 15-24 years who can name at least one formal source of condoms.


All young people.

Method of measurement

This indicator is assessed by asking respondents to name at least one source where they can obtain condoms. The question should allow for more than one source to be listed. The maximum number can be defined in each national setting but three sources represent an acceptable option. For a questionnaire administered by a surveyor the interviewer should simply record the sources listed, probing the respondent to think of another source until the set number of sources has been achieved or the respondent cannot name an additional source. In a self-administered questionnaire there should be a number of blank spaces where respondents can write their answers. At the analysis stage, certain stated sources may be considered unacceptable or incorrect, e.g. friends or family members may not be considered as formal sources of condoms. This indicator should be presented as separate percentages for males and females, disaggregated by age in the following groups: 15–19, 20–24 and 10–24 years (six categories).

Measurement frequency

Age group: 10 years - 24 years, 15 years - 19 years, 20 years - 24 years

Education: N/A

Gender: Male, Female

Geographic location: N/A

Pregnancy status: N/A

Sector: N/A

Target: N/A

Time period: N/A

Type of orphan: N/A

Vulnerability status: N/A

Explanation of the numerator
Explanation of the denominator
Strengths and weaknesses

In many parts of the world the vast majority of young people can be expected to know of at least one formal source of condoms. In order to obtain a meaningful answer in this circumstance, one option is to increase the minimum number of sources to be listed for a correct answer, i.e. the numerator is the number of respondents who can list, say, at least two formal sources of condoms. Knowing a source of condoms is the first requisite for obtaining them but is not the same as actually being able to do so. Various barriers can prevent young people from accessing condoms, among the more common being their cost and the stigma associated with obtaining them. It is very important to examine these barriers, as interventions can be targeted at overcoming them, e.g. the provision of subsidies for the purchase of condoms or the organization of media campaigns aimed at reducing stigma. This indicator can be interpreted together with indicator No. 6 in Chapter 3 (condom availability for young people).

Further information