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CVS joins alliance to increase access to female condoms

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WASHINGTON — CVS/pharmacy has joined a partnership with the MAC AIDS Fund, The Female Health Company, the Washington AIDS Partnership and the Washington, D.C., Department of Health to help boost access to the FC2 Female Condom in the District of Columbia.

Backed by a $500,000 grant from the MAC AIDS Fund, five local nonprofit organizations will distribute 500,000 female condoms through a grassroots prevention and education program in the neighborhoods of the city hardest hit by HIV/AIDS. Female condoms will be available for widespread purchase at 56 CVS/pharmacy stores in the District.

The alliance reported that the nation’s capital has the highest HIV/AIDS rate in the country, with 3% of all adults and adolescents in the district living with HIV/AIDS. Among new HIV cases, nearly 40% of infections are attributable to heterosexual contact.

The goal of the partnership is to empower women to protect themselves from HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases by adding the FC2 Female Condom, made by The Female Health Company, to their tool kit of sexual health protection. Washington, D.C., has one of only two large-scale free condom distribution programs in the country.

"Women have become disadvantaged in prevention and treatment and we need a game-changer," commented Nancy Mahon, executive director of the MAC AIDS Fund. "A recent survey we published found that women are putting themselves at risk in part because they feel they can’t negotiate safe sex. Our hope is that the FC2 Female Condom will get us one step closer to stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS."

The FC2 Female Condom is the only woman-initiated form of protection currently available against unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, according to the partnership. The condom is available for purchase exclusively at CVS/pharmacy stores in Washington, D.C. The three-pack FC2 retails for $6.49 at the drug store chain.

"CVS/pharmacy is dedicated to providing our customers with convenient access to affordable products and services that enhance their health and well-being," Gordon Howard, area vice president of CVS/pharmacy in Washington, D.C., said in a statement. "Ensuring access to the Female Condom at all of our stores in the district is critical to expanding awareness and use to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. We are proud to participate in this initiative."


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