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Pennsylvania: Philadelphia Unwraps Campaign Against STDs

April 11, 2011

On Thursday, Philadelphia launched a new STD campaign featuring city-branded condoms, a website, and Facebook page, and a GPS-enabled iPhone application to help people find condom distribution sites. Mayor Michael Nutter and Health Commissioner Donald F. Schwarz were on hand to introduce the campaign and its "Freedom Condom."

During their high school years in Philadelphia, more than 30 percent of girls and 12 percent of boys will test positive for at least one STD. A 10-year city health department analysis found these youths are 2.5-3 times more likely to contract HIV than STD-negative peers. Infectious syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia have been rising in teens and young adults.


The city paid $30,000 for the initial run of 200,000 units of the Freedom Condom, which is targeted at teens. The Lifestyle Ultra Thin lubricated condoms will be distributed from more than 100 sites and can be ordered through, which also has a locator map for distribution sites. The remaining costs for distributing an eventual 1 million city-branded condoms will be paid by a federal grant. Philadelphia continues to distribute unbranded condoms, as well.

The STD prevention campaign also will include broader STD education efforts and a ratcheting-up of STD outreach, screening, treatment and partner notification targeting youths.

"When I see youths in the office, a lot of what we focus on is communication skills and talking more about relationships in general," said Nadia Dowshen, a pediatrician who specializes in HIV-positive youth at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Dowshen applauded the campaign for "meeting youth where they are, literally, in terms of technology."

Back to other news for April 2011

Adapted from:
Philadelphia Inquirer
04.08.2011; Don Sapatkin

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
More HIV Prevention Policy News on Northeastern U.S. States

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