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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Condom Shipment Expected to Aid
Susan Levine
September 13, 2007
Washington Post (09.12.07) - Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Jersey-based Church & Dwight Co. Inc. is donating 350,002 of its Trojan condoms to help bolster the District of Columbia's condom distribution program, which has recently been the subject of scrutiny due quality complaints. The name- brand condoms should arrive by the end of the month, said a spokesperson for Mayor Adrian M. Fenty.

Last week, concerns arose regarding the quality of the hundreds of thousands of Chinese-manufactured condoms the Health Department has dispensed since February. City officials defended their safety and effectiveness while acknowledging the community's negative reaction. Health Director Gregg A. Pane said the HIV/AIDS Administration would evaluate the program, including "feedback on the quality of the condoms and receptivity by clients." The administration was scheduled to hold a meeting Thursday with community-based groups to discuss the situation.

Organizations and clinics involved in the distribution program welcomed the donation. "We're moving in the right direction. There's been such scrutiny of D.C.'s condoms that it's necessary to use name-brand condoms going forward," said David Mariner of D.C. Fights Back.

Mariner and others are calling for more strategic approaches to future distribution programs. District officials are unable to say how many of the condoms have been handed out, or to whom. The program must be streamlined with the goal of moving the condoms quickly from "distribution point to people," agreed Shannon Hader, incoming HIV/AIDS administrator. "That's going to be a really important part of an overall logistics and distribution plan."