D.C. and MAC Cosmetics Fight Aids By Distributing Female Condoms
March 7, 2010
(ChattahBox)— Washington, DC is taking a proactive approach in battling an HIV/AIDS epidemic in the District by distributing female condoms, in the same way male condoms are made available to inner city residents. This is a first of its kind program and acknowledges that many women can’t rely on their male partners to wear condoms to protect them from transmitting AIDS.
Starting in the next several weeks, female condoms will be distributed in the same places that male condoms are made available, as well as beauty salons, convenience stores and high schools, in areas that have high HIV/AIDS rates.
The HIV/AIDS rate of 3 percent of the District’s population represents a troubling health crisis. A recent HIV Heterosexual Behavior Study showed that more than 70 percent said they don’t use condoms, and only 60 percent said they had been tested for HIV. Nationwide, HIV/AIDS infection is the leading cause of death for black women ages 25-34.
The female condom giveaway program was made possible by a $500,000 grant from MAC Cosmetics, which also funds the city’s needle exchange program. And a new and improved female condom just approved by the FDA, makes it more likely that women will use them and men won’t complain. The new thinner polyurethane material conducts body heat and enhances sexual sensation for both men and women.
The MAC AIDS Fund is promoting its VIVA GLAM campaign that funds “model programs that address the vulnerabilities and inequities that place women at increased risk for HIV/AIDS.” Music celebrities Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lauper are acting as spokeswomen for the campaign.
See the Washington Post for more.