February 14, 2008

NYC Condoms Encourage Residents to ‘Get Some’

The official condom of New York City is being dispersed with hopes that New Yorkers will "get some" this year. An ad campaign featuring the new slogan will also soon be launched on television, radio, and in subways throughout the city.

"We want to give away as many condoms as people will use because we're trying to make New York City an even safer place to have sex, and this is a powerful way to do it," Monica Sweeney, the Health Department's assistant commissioner for HIV prevention and control, told Associated Press.

Street teams will also be hitting the streets near busy locations including Wall Street and Times Square equipped with the new condoms featuring the updated slogan.

The New York City Health Department started handing out the revamped condoms last year, and since then has distributed 36 million - an average of 3 million each month "“ doubling the approximate 1.5 million monthly of the city's old condoms.

The former condom of the city had a black wrapper which read "NYC Condom" using the same font and colors as those on city subway maps and signs.

About 100,000 of New York's 8.2 million residents have HIV or AIDS, and that number continues to grow. The initiative was launched with the goal of reducing sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies.

Yves Behar, founder of the San Francisco-based agency, fuseproject, designed the updated wrapper with hopes of displaying a more comforting message to the public.

He also designed the new condom dispensers, which the city said will be made available to businesses who want to join the effort.

Currently, about 900 establishments offer the condoms, Sweeney said.

The free condom campaign hasn't been welcomed by all residents. Earlier last year, Catholic leaders in New York City claimed that Mayor Michael Bloomberg was promoting promiscuity by "blanketing our neighborhoods with condoms."