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NYC Department of Health's 'Get Some NYC Condoms' Sends Wrong Message and Misuses Tax Dollars, says MIM President Bob Peters

NEW YORK, Feb. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- On February 13, the NYC Department of Health "unveiled a brand new look for the NYC Condom and launched a cutting- edge media campaign to encourage New Yorker's to 'get some.'" The Release said further that "street teams" would hand out free condoms at "busy crossroads," that the campaign would include ads on TV and radio and display ads on subway cars and phone kiosks, and that over 36 million condoms were given out last year.

Robert Peters, President of MIM had the following comments:

"Instead of targeting specific populations known to engage in promiscuous sex, the NYC Department of Health now targets all 'New Yorkers,' including children and adults whose religion teaches them that use of condoms is sinful, with the message, 'Get Some' NYC Condoms and, presumably, use and enjoy them while engaging in promiscuous sex. To the extent that the campaign is aimed at married couples, it is not only pro-promiscuity but also anti-children.

"And what are the results of this tax dollar supported celebration of condoms? No one knows since the City apparently does not attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of its free condom efforts.

"What we do know is that after distributing tens of millions of free condoms in recent years, twice as many syphilis cases were diagnosed in New York City in the first quarter of 2007 as were diagnosed in the first quarter of 2006 (N.Y. Times, 8/12/07); and that between 2001 and 2006, new diagnoses of H.I.V. infection in New York City rose 32% among gay men under 30 and 34% among Black and Hispanic (N.Y. Times, 1/02/08). We also know that while New York City has money to promote free condoms to all New Yorkers and millions of tourists, it doesn't have sufficient money to combat AIDS in "communities of color" (see, e.g., "Anger Over Black HIV Efforts," Gay City News, 2/14/08).

"There is also a decency issue here. Just as most Americans do not want to view endless ads for 'erectile dysfunction' products on TV, so most New Yorkers do not want to see endless ads for condomized promiscuity on TV and in the subway cars they and their children must ride.

"The ads are also misleading, because they imply that condoms protect against STDs, without mentioning that condoms break, only work when used properly, and don't protect against all STD's."

SOURCE Morality in Media
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