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New York: Wrapped in Subway Logos, Free City Condom Is a Hit

April 5, 2007

Health officials said yesterday that New York City distributed 5 million of its subway-themed condoms in just one month, about two condoms for every male in the city and more than the total distributed in all of 2003.

With its wrapper mimicking the logos of the city's subway lines, the condom was the first designed exclusively for New York. The distribution campaign kicked off on Valentine's Day, and more than 5 million had been handed out by mid-March.

"I think the key thing is this branding effort. It's our own brand, it's a New York City-specific thing, and people really respond," said Adam Karpati, assistant city health commissioner in charge of HIV/AIDS programs.

While the city has given away free condoms since 1971, it has only in recent years partnered with bars, restaurants, shops, theaters, block associations, and doctors' offices to increase distribution. New York City handed out 18 million condoms last year with the help of 877 such partners. Since the creation of its branded condom, 500 new groups have joined the effort, said Karpati.

The city is using suggestive puns to further the success of the program. Posters advertising the condoms read "We've got you covered," and "New York's hottest new wrapper."

Back to other news for April 2007

Adapted from:
New York Times
04.05.2007; Richard Peréz-Peña

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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