New York City Health Department Launches Facebook Page To Promote Condom Use
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has launched a page and application on the social networking Web site Facebook to promote condom use in the city, the New York Times reports. The Facebook page also includes information about HIV/AIDS in the city, including the fact that New York City has more AIDS cases than Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Washington, D.C., combined. In addition, more than 100,000 people in the city are living with HIV, and one out of every 25 men in Manhattan, as well as one out of every four men who have sex with men in Chelsea, is HIV-positive.
As of Wednesday afternoon, almost 1,500 Facebook messages, called e-condoms, had been sent through the Web site. The application has a ranking that shows who has sent the most e-condoms, and the Times reports that several people on the list are employees with the health department's communications office. "By using Facebook, we can help millions of people spread the word about condoms," Monica Sweeney, assistant health commissioner for HIV prevention and control, said. The health department in 2007 launched the city's official condom, and more than 70 million have been distributed since the condoms were introduced (Chan, New York Times, 2/12).