New York City To Unveil Official Condom as Part of HIV Prevention Efforts

From the

[Feb 14, 2007]

New York City health officials on Wednesday are scheduled to unveil the city’s official condom as part of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s efforts to curb the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, the AP/Long Island Newsday reports (Kugler, AP/Long Island Newsday, 2/13). The health department last month approved a $1.57 million contract to deliver more than 20 million Ansell Healthcare’s Lifestyle condoms and packets of lubricants to organizations and venues in the city to help curb the spread of HIV. The health department will pay Ansell four cents per condom, putting the cost of the program at about $720,000 annually, according to health officials. Officials are attempting to make the packaging for the condoms, which will be distributed by the city, more distinctive. City officials said they hope the condom’s packaging will help them to better track the effectiveness of their distribution program (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/29). According to the AP/Newsday, the condoms’ design is expected to be a subway theme with different colors for various train lines (AP/Long Island Newsday, 2/13). Officials plan to track the progress of the program through an annual community health survey, which polls 10,000 city residents by telephone. New York City currently distributes about 1.5 million condoms monthly, or about 18 million annually, at no cost to organizations, health clinics, advocacy groups, bars, restaurants, nail salons, nightclubs and prisons. Organizations or venues can request an unlimited supply of condoms at no cost through an online ordering system set up by the city health department (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/29). Volunteers are scheduled to hand out the no-cost condoms at the launch, which will take place at a Kenneth Cole store in Manhattan. The store also plans to unveil a T-shirt and boxer shorts as part of the campaign (AP/Long Island Newsday, 2/13).