*High school students and college-age adults in Washington D.C. are griping to local officials that the free condoms the city has been offering are not of good enough quality and are too small, reports the Washington Post.
In response to the concern, officials have switched to Trojan condoms, including the company’s super-size Magnum variety.
Also, the teens have been complaining that receiving condoms from school nurses is “just like asking grandma or auntie.” So D.C. officials have begun to authorize teachers or counselors, preferably male, to distribute condoms to students if the teachers complete a 30-minute online training course called “WrapMC” — for Master of Condoms.
“If people get what they don’t want, they are just going to trash them,” said T. Squalls, 30, who attends the University of the District of Columbia. “So why not spend a few extra dollars and get what people want?” Health officials and consumer advocates say that in terms of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, there’s no difference between Trojans and the less-expensive Durex condoms that the city is offering.
But because Trojans are considered the better-known brand, city officials say, they are willing to spend an extra few thousand dollars a year to try to persuade sexually active teenagers to practice safer sex. The Durex condoms will still be offered.
The addition of the more expensive Trojan condoms is the latest move in an effort by officials to flood city streets with latex to battle HIV/AIDS. The District, where 3 percent of residents have HIV, studies show, recently received a grant to offer free female condoms. And, in what is thought to be a first for a local government, the city is mailing up to 10 free condoms at a time to residents who request them online. Free condoms are also available at more than 100 locations, including barbershops, liquor stores and youth centers.
“We want to support the regularization of condom use citywide,” said Shannon L. Hader, director of the city’s HIV/AIDS administration. “We are promoting this idea that using condoms is healthy . . . to try to destigmatize condom use, not only for kids, but for grown-ups.”