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San Francisco, Calif., Department of Public Health Plugs Female Condoms for Gay Men

February 15, 2011

The city Department of Public Health is rolling out the nation's first social marketing campaign to promote the new female condom (FC2) for use by men as well as women.

"The female condom has been out since the 1990s, and we have been offering the old one at City Clinic for some time now," said Jacqueline McCright, DPH's community-based STD services manager. "Gay men ask for it more often than women do. It protects against STDs and HIV when having anal sex."

The DPH campaign, set to launch on Valentine's Day, will include promotional posters in local businesses, gay bars and sex clubs, and ads on city buses. The department's approach is a departure from the stance of the Food and Drug Administration, which has not supported the use of female condoms for anal sex as a way to prevent HIV and other STDs.

Supported by a $100,000 MAC AIDS Fund grant, DPH aims to distribute 80,000 of the female condoms, which are made with a thin synthetic material, nitrile, and a design to improve sensation. The FC2 also is cheaper than the original female condom.

The artist behind the city's Healthy Penis campaign, Scott Metzger, created the new female condom poster illustrations. "Because you don't necessarily know how to use it, we have made special arrangements to have an illustrator draw out how to use it for anal sex," McCright said.

Walgreens has agreed to sell the condoms at a reduced price, three for $9.99 instead of $6.49 each. Last year, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago produced a website to help educate gay men on how to use a female condom for anal sex,, which includes a video created by health workers in Burkina Faso.

For more information about San Francisco's campaign, visit:

Back to other news for February 2011

Adapted from:
Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco)
02.10.2011; Matthew S. Bajko

More From This Resource Center

Undetectable Viral Load and HIV Prevention: What Do Gay and Bi Men Need to Know?

Do HIV-Negative Gay Men Need Condoms if They're on PrEP? Here's What I Tell My Patients

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.
See Also
Fact Sheet: HIV/AIDS and Young Men Who Have Sex With Men
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More on HIV Prevention Campaigns & Programs for Gay Men

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