New York City Condom Initiative Distributes 9M No-Cost Condoms Via Web site
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene over the past six months has distributed more than nine million condoms at no cost via a Web site as part of an initiative to curb the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, the New York Post reports. According to Isaac Weisfuse, deputy commissioner of the DHMH, condoms are available at no cost to clinics, private hospitals, youth and senior centers, commercial sex venues and other facilities via the health department's Web site, which is the main mode of distribution. The department previously distributed condoms only to STI clinics, according to the Post. The department provides Lifestyles brand condoms, which are sent to the recipient within 10 days of placing the order, the Post reports. "The whole idea was to reduce barriers to getting condoms out," Weisfuse said, adding, "The fact that we had a 332% increase" in condom distribution and "the fact that it's kept up in terms of demand tell us that it's a success." There are more than 100,000 HIV-positive people in New York City, and health officials estimate that there are thousands more undiagnosed HIV cases, according to the Post. The program thus far has cost the agency $618,000, the Post reports (Edozien, New York Post, 8/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.