Thousands of Condoms Returned to Washington, D.C., Health Department Because of Concerns About Packaging, Safety
September 5, 2007
Tens of thousands of condoms that the Washington, D.C., Department of Health provided at no cost to residents have been returned because of concerns about the condoms' packaging and safety, the Washington Post reports (Levine, Washington Post, 9/5). District health officials in February distributed 250,000 condoms as part of the health department's efforts to prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. The first batch of condoms went to several not-for-profit organizations and community health providers. The department said it aimed to distribute one million condoms by the end of 2007. The condoms' purple and yellow package is printed in English and Spanish and carries the slogan, "We've got you covered. Coming together to stop HIV in D.C." (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/16).
DeRose said the not-for-profit groups tried to warn officials before sending back the condoms. "There was no talk about (getting) a different condom," he said, adding, "They said, 'This is what we have.'" The coalition, which launched a condom distribution program last fall, has begun purchasing its own condoms again. The coalition's condoms are being used up rapidly, according to the Post. The health department "apparently does not consider the situation a problem," according to the Post. Health department spokesperson Leila Abrar said in a statement, "To date, we have not received any substantive complaints." According to the statement, the district has distributed nearly 650,000 condoms since February through partnerships with 50 organizations. The health department has taken notice of the comments about the district condoms' packaging, the Post reports. According to Abrar's statement, the city will hold a "contest for new versions" of its next condom package (Washington Post, 9/5).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.