Washington, D.C. is about to become the first city in the U.S. to distribute free female condoms.
For nearly a decade, the District has had a program that's given free condoms to men. Now, it's the ladies' turn.
The change also signals the District's HIV/AIDS Administration's shift in taking a more aggressive approach to the city's steep rate of HIV infection.
"There are areas where the city is not doing a good job [with AIDS], but in some areas they are cutting edge. On this one, they're cutting edge," Walter Smith, executive director of D.C. Appleseed, told the Post. "The very fact that they're doing this . . . says to women of the city that this is important to you. This is important to your families. Get with the program."
In 2007, for female adults and adolescents, the rate of HIV/AIDS diagnoses for black females was nearly 20 times as high as the rate for white females and nearly 4 times as high as the rate for Hispanic/Latino females, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Who's footing the bill for all of these condoms? The money comes from a $500,000 grant from the MAC AIDS Fund, a subsidiary of MAC Cosmetics.