Washington: Washington DC is going to becomethe first city in the US to distribute female condoms free ina bid to control the District`s spiralling epidemic of HIV andAIDS. According to city officials, the distribution of freewomen contraceptives could begin within the next three weeksin the areas where a recent study has shown that large numbersof African American heterosexuals engage in risky sexualbehaviour that could easily lead to infection.
According to the report, HIV/AIDS infection is theleading cause of death for black women 25-34 nationwide. A2008 report showed the Washington District`s HIV/AIDS rate at3 per cent, or about 15,100 adults, a major epidemic. Male condoms have long been handed out but infectionrates remain high among Washington`s black residents. Femalecondoms have been on sale since 1993, but take-up has beenslow as it was judged too expensive for US customers. Now, a new version, which is being used in countriesincluding South Africa, Brazil and Indonesia, will bedistributed in Washington DC and offered for sale inpharmacies alongside male condoms, the report added. PTI
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