For almost a decade, Washington, D.C. has had a program that’s given free condoms to men. Now, it’s the ladies’ turn.The District is about to become the first city in the United States to distribute female condoms free as a part of a project that will make 500,000 of them available in beauty salons, convenience stores and high schools in parts of the city with high HIV rates.
City officials said the distribution could begin within the next three weeks in parts of wards 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7, where a study showed that large numbers of African American heterosexuals engage in risky sexual behavior that could easily lead to infection.
This change signals the District’s HIV/AIDS Administration’s shift in taking a more aggressive approach to the city’s steep rate of HIV infection. Officials also said that they are turning to female condoms to give women more power to protect themselves from HIV and sexually transmitted diseases when their partners refuse to use protection.
The city is planning to distribute the new and improved version of the female Condom, which was approved by the Federal Drug Administration last year and is in use in South Africa, Indonesia and Brazil.