New app in Sweden shows closest place to buy condoms

It's not always clear which stores carry condoms and which don't – especially if you're in a rush to find one or just too embarrassed to ask. In Sweden, software developers hope to change all of that with the introduction of a new app for smartphones. The program can instantly locate the nearest place that sells condoms and officials hope that it will encourage young adults to use protection. 

"In the last four years the use of social media and smart phones has surged and we think this approach will work better than putting up posters around town," Karin Rågsjö of the Institute for Communicable Disease Control told Sweden's The Local.

The software also helps users browse an interactive website that can help them buy condoms online. This could prove to be a very effective way to encourage sexually active people who are otherwise hesitant to enter a store and educate themselves about condom FAQs.

The problem of condom use is particularly pronounced in Sweden. One survey conducted by the National Board of Health and Welfare and other partners found that many young men said that they would only use a contraceptive if a partner "insisted."

"Fifteen years ago there were very few who would wear a bicycle helmet when they went out for a ride but now it is the norm. It might be a silly simile but the information campaigns worked," Rågsjö said.

While an app that seems so specific to condom use may be a far cry from being implemented in the U.S., going on the internet can still be a way to find more out about different condoms and purchase protection online. The information campaign in the United States about the importance of condoms in preventing pregnancy and STDs has also been very effective. 

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