By Patrick Madden
The city of Washington is getting ready to give out half-a-million female condoms. It's the first effort of its kind in the United States, and city leaders hope the program will combat D.C's HIV-AIDS epidemic.
Because female condoms are not as widely available as male condoms, about half of the $500,000 grant will go toward promoting the condoms and teaching women how to use them.
The city's top HIV-AIDS official, Dr. Shannon Hader, says D.C. is training five community groups to go to beauty salons and other "non-traditional" sites, to hand-out the devices and spread the word.
"They came into it a little suspicious about what this product would be and by the end of this introduction and the training, they are some of the strongest advocates for this new product I have ever seen," says Hader.
Adam Tenner with Metro Teen Aids supports the effort. His group works with young people and has distributed female condoms in the past.
"The female condom definitely has a learning curve that the male condom doesn't. So in order to use it properly there is an education component and that will take some time," says Tenner.
CVS has also started selling female condoms at pharmacies in D.C. Tenner says that move, along with the 'giveaway', should help the female condom gain wider appeal.