Consortium of Health Groups to Distribute Free Condoms to Visitors at Salt Lake Olympics
A consortium of 14 health groups will hand out free "safe sex packs" -- including condoms -- to visitors at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Reuters reports (Reuters, 2/5). In an effort dubbed "Safe Games 2002," about 120 volunteers from organizations such as the Utah AIDS Foundation, American Red Cross and Planned Parenthood will distribute more than 250,000 condoms at both official "Olympic venues" and non-Olympic sites such as nightclubs. The kits will also include hand warmers, lip moisturizer and "pamphlets containing contact information for social services and taxis," Scripps Howard News Service/Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Luciano Colonna, executive director of Harm Reduction Project, a group participating in the "Safe Games" effort, said the initiative has been planned for months and was not a "response" to those who have protested the Salt Lake Organizing Committee's decision to provide free condoms to athletes residing in the Olympic Village (Scripps Howard News Service/Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2/6). The SLOC plans to make about 12,000 condoms available to athletes for free at first-aid stations, a decision that some religious activists have called "morally offensive" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/31). Utah AIDS Foundation spokesperson Robert Jones said the "Safe Games" group had not sought official approval from Olympics organizers but did have support from Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson. Reuters reports Anderson told the local Deseret News, "The only people who want condoms are the people who are having sex. And I think we should encourage safe sex" (Reuters, 2/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.