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New York Health Department Distributes Five Million Condoms in a Month

The New York City health department announced that from mid-February to mid-March it distributed five million no-cost condoms, or about two condoms per every man// living in the city, as part of its efforts to curb the spread of HIV.

The health department in January approved a $1.57 million contract to deliver 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.

City health officials in February unveiled the official condom, which features a subway theme with different colors for various train lines. 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.

According to the Times, the health department last year worked with 877 businesses, health clinics, advocacy groups and other organizations to distribute 18 million condoms. Since the department unveiled the subway-themed condom, an additional 500 groups have joined the effort, according to Adam Karpati, assistant city health commissioner in charge of HIV/AIDS programs.

Some of the groups asked by the health department to participate distributed about one million of the five million condoms, the AP/Long Island Newsday reports. Frieden in a statement called the program a "sensation," adding, "Hundreds of community organizations are signing up to give out free condoms, many f or the first time."

According to the AP/Newsday, the condom distribution campaign also aims to prevent unplanned pregnancies and curb the spread of other sexually transmitted infections.

Source-Kaiser Family Foundation/B

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