June 21, 2012
Boulder-based Sir Richard's Condom Co. has vowed to match each condom sale with a condom donation in order to combat HIV, STDs, and unintended pregnancies in developing nations. The first giveaway of 500,000 condoms is underway in Haiti.
Sir Richard's is working with Boston-based Partners in Health, which has been active in Haiti since 1987. PIH is building a new hospital in Mirebalais, 30 miles north of Port-au-Prince, to help replace medical facilities damaged by the 2010 earthquake.
"PIH is deeply grateful for Sir Richard's partnership in this mission," said Christopher Hamon, who works for the nonprofit. "Reinforcing the importance of condom use and ensuring that condoms are available and accessible is key to our battle against the spread of HIV/AIDS."
Sir Richard's CEO Jim Moscou said the condoms will feature Haitian Creole-style packaging and will be delivered soon from the company's manufacturing plant in Malaysia. "There is a huge global shortage of condoms," Moscou explained. "We're using the power of business for social good. Will we lose a few dollars? Yes. But that's our commitment as a company." Moscou hopes to do the giveaways twice a year. Beyond Haiti, Moscou sees potential partnerships and giveaways in Thailand and Uganda.
The World Health Organization estimates that less than 17 percent of contraceptive needs are met in developing countries today. Unwanted pregnancies have spiked in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. An estimated 5 billion condoms are sold in the world each year, with the United States accounting for about 10 percent of sales.