The Victorian Government is examining whether to allow condoms in prisons after a series of studies found more than half the male prison population had hepatitis C.

Condoms are currently banned in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Victoria except for approved conjugal visits.

The NSW Government relented on the issue when a prisoner successfully sued in 1996 after being infected with HIV.

A spokeswoman from the NSW Department of Corrective Services said condom vending machines were available in every wing of every prison.

Every prisoner in NSW can discreetly go up and get as many as they want, the spokeswoman said.

The NSW prison officers union initially was strongly opposed to condom availability and still has concerns that fluid-filled condoms can be used as weapons.

Condom machines are there. People may not be happy that they’re there, but they’re begrudgingly accepted, John Doyle from the NSW Public Service Association told ABC’s Stateline last year.

Male sexual assault and consensual male-to-male sex both decreased in prisons after condoms were introduced, a report last year by the National Centre in HIV Social Research showed.

The condoms were often also used to conceal contraband items, although this did not correlate to an increase in drug injecting.

Those fears that rape and sending condoms through the mail would increase were just a furphy, Associate Professor Tony Butler, who worked on the study, said.

Prisoners in the ACT can also access condoms but not anonymously.

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