AIDS group’s 70-foot, 18-wheel ‘Condom Nation’ big rig and companion Sprinter van continue national condom giveaway tour with stops in Kansas City, Missouri, where free HIV testing will also be offered by local partner agency, Kansas City Free Health Clinic. Goal: 6 months, 25 states, 10 million free condoms.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s (AHF) ‘Condom Nation Tour’—AHF’s specially-designed 70-foot-long, 18-wheel ‘Condom Nation’ big rig truck and a companion ‘Condom Nation’ Sprinter van—sweeps into Kansas City today—a stop on the ‘Condom Nation Tour’—a groundbreaking 25-state, 40-city, six-month nationwide tour to select cities, towns and states to hand out ten million free condoms and provide safer sex information in conjunction with local partners.
‘Condom Nation’ was launched from the famed Boardwalk in Venice Beach, California, as part of AHF’s worldwide observation of International Condom Day—an informal holiday observed annually on February 13 in conjunction with Valentine’s Day.
In Kansas City, AHF’s ‘Condom Nation’ will partner with the Kansas City Free Health Clinic in a condom giveaway and free HIV testing event on Thursday, May 24, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm outside the Walgreens (3845 Broadway Blvd. at the corner of Broadway and 39th Street).
The ‘Condom Nation’ big rig (and the similarly wrapped, smaller ‘Condom Nation’ sprinter van) will conclude the U.S. tour in late July in Washington, DC, arriving just before the opening of the XIX International AIDS Conference in that city.
“‘Condom Nation’ is a serious, yet somewhat whimsical and creative effort by AIDS Healthcare Foundation to help promote increased condom use and to help make condoms more accessible and affordable,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “Condoms are an essential part of preventing HIV and STDs. Not only are they extremely effective at preventing transmission, they are cheaper and easier to use than many other prevention tools. Our hope is that ‘Condom Nation’ raises awareness and sparks conversations along the way—both on the coasts and in the heartland—about the importance of condoms and the crucial role they play in disease prevention and safer sex.”
Currently, there are approximately 48,000 new HIV infections and 19 million new STD infections every year in the United States.
Unfortunately, few people have reliable and affordable access to condoms. Recent studies show that when condoms are available and reasonably priced or at no cost, more people use them as a protective measure against STDs, HIV and unwanted pregnancies. In addition, the average $1 retail price per condom is offset by a production cost of only $.04, leaving $.96 for profit. Retail-priced condoms are simply too expensive for many people to afford and locations providing free condoms are often geographically distant from those who need them.
“In order to better protect the public health, we need universal access to condoms and they need to be available at an extremely low cost,” said James Vellequette, Associate Director for AHF’s ‘Condom Nation.’ “This tour is a national call to action to achieve these goals and we are delighted to be working with the Kansas City Free Health Clinic, our partner in Kansas City, today.”