Monday, November 29, 2010

Free Condoms in DC: "Rubber Revolution"

The outgoing Fenty administration has launched the “Rubber Revolution DC,” a new campaign to promote condom use. The campaign will feature a new web site, text messaging, ads on radio, newspapers, Metro and the Internet, as well as offer educational materials.  The Rubber Revolution media partner is WPGC Radio and radio/TV personality Big Tigger who will serve as the campaign’s first ambassador to encourage condom use and safe sex.

“The Rubber Revolution aims to encourage sexually active people to always use condoms and engage community and business partners to support condom use,” said Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. “The District is proud of its aggressive approach to address this issue, and we hope to build on our success as one of only two cities in the country with a public sector condom distribution program that has provided more than 3.5 million free condoms last year.”

The Department of Health developed the campaign based on studies showing that between 40% and 70% of all DC adults and adolescents are not regularly using condoms. These studies indicate that many women, men, and youth of all ages and races are at risk of contracting HIV and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). The campaign was created to address potential barriers to condom use and any misconceptions about condoms.  DOH conducted focus groups with District residents to ensure that the messages are relevant and effective.

“Condoms are 95% effective in blocking the transmission of HIV and STDs, but they are 0% effective if people don’t use them,” said DOH Director Dr. Pierre Vigilance.  “DOH has been a leader in making condoms available in the District in collaboration with more than 300 community and business partners. We look forward to continuing our success with this new campaign that increase awareness and encourage more residents to practice safe sex.”

Reasons given for not using condoms include: Condom sizes are too small and uncomfortable, condoms interrupt the mood, people simply trust for their partner even if they just met them.

The “Rubber Revolution” messages to encourage condom use include: “Get Wrapped up in the Moment,” “Life is Feels Better with a Condom,” “Big Enuf 4 U,” “A Condom Fits Any Head”

The campaign features the new partnership with WPGC Radio and Big Tigger, who will make numerous public appearances and outreach efforts on air and in communities on condom use.  The new web site includes information on condoms, where to find them for free in DC and the option to order directly for 10 free condoms.  In addition to other ad locations, the campaign will advertise on popular social networking Internet sites.  Also, in the District, individuals can text DCWRAP to 61827 to find free condom locations by zip code.

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