Retail outlets and services with condoms in stock

Export Indicator

The proportion of randomly selected retail outlets and service delivery points that have condoms in stock at the time of a survey, of all retail outlets and service delivery points selected for survey
What it measures

This indicator measures actual distribution of condoms at designated points at any one point in time. It reflects the success of attempts to broaden the distribution of condoms so that they are more widely available to people likely to need them, and at locations and times when people are likely to need them.


Number of sites with condoms currently in stock


Total number of sites surveyed

Method of measurement

A number of sites of different types are randomly selected for a retail survey. The sampling frame should be stratified to reflect sites in both urban and rural areas. Sites will be selected from a standard checklist of venues where condoms should be accessible, including bars and night clubs, different classes of retail shops (for example pharmacies, supermarkets, convenience stores, market stalls, petrol stations), STI clinics and other service provision points. Outlets that provide services to people who may find it difficult to access condoms at conventional sites – for example teenagers – should be included. The indicator is the number of sites with condoms currently in stock, divided by the total number of sites surveyed.
While the indicator gives a single summary figure, the data can also be disaggregated by outlet type. This will provide invaluable information for programme managers, and for those seeking to improve the marketing of condoms. Outlet types may be analysed by the populations they seek to serve. This provides an idea of the adequacy of efforts to meet the needs of people with potentially high-risk behaviour, such as young people or those in mobile occupations.

Measurement frequency

Condom type: N/A

Education: N/A

Gender: N/A

Geographic location: Urban, Rural

HIV status: N/A

Pregnancy status: N/A

Sector: Private, Public

Service Type: 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

The statistical departments or finance ministries of many countries conduct regular (usually quarterly) retail surveys that include price and availability data for a wide variety of commodities. These are usually conducted to help in the compilation of the consumer price index and other economic statistics, and are often contracted to private market research firms. They typically use a well-established sampling frame covering a wide variety of venues nation-wide. Where such surveys exist, condoms can simply be added to the basket of commodities for which data are collected. Certain venues (such as STI clinics, family planning clinics, etc.) may not be covered by the regular retail survey; in this case special surveys of these extra venues can be undertaken to provide the necessary extra data. Outlets such as bars, places where young people congregate and other high transmission sites may not be part of a current sampling frame for retail survey. It may be necessary to identify such sites through key informants. On the whole, however, the cost to the national AIDS programme of adding condoms to retail surveys (in both human and monetary terms) should be minimal. It is recommended that this indicator use a standard list of venues in conducting the retail survey. However some countries may choose to modify the list to include non-standard venues where a special effort is being made to distribute condoms – secondary schools might be an example. It may be difficult to identify all distribution sites if they are non-formal venues. In others, not all of the venues will be relevant. This is especially true in low-level or concentrated epidemics, where the focus may be distribution of condoms within a welldefined sub-population with particularly high risk. The fact that condoms are not widely distributed in convenience stores across the country will not be an indication of programme failure in this situation. Countries may also wish to weight the different outlet types in constructing the aggregate indicator. It is not possible to recommend a standard weighting procedure. Any variation in venues or weighting will affect the comparability of the indicator across countries. These limitations will not affect the presentation of data disaggregated by outlet type, and should not affect trends over time in a single country unless the venue mix is changed. A limitation of the measure is that it provides a “snapshot” of availability at a single point in time. Where distribution is relatively regular, this poses no major problems. However when there are serious disruptions to condom supply at the central level, the repercussions may be felt simultaneously at a large majority of venues. If a survey is carried out at this time, it will appear as though the peripheral distribution system is inadequate whereas in fact the fault lies at the central level. In countries where quarterly retail surveys are undertaken, it may be possible to report an annual average to better reflect consistency of supply.

Further information