By Rebecca Sheir
Since March, organizations in D.C. have been preparing to hand out half-a-million female condoms.
After months of focus groups and training, the organizations and the D.C. Department of Health are kicking off the D.C. "Doin' It" campaign. The campaign is targeting the neighborhoods hardest hit by HIV and AIDS.
Our Place D.C., a nonprofit serving women returning from prison, is one of the five local organizations distributing female condoms as part of the campaign.
Executive director Ashley McSwain says Our Place D.C.'s clients are especially at risk of HIV and AIDS.
"Oftentimes the women we serve tell us they're not always sure how to negotiate having the male use a condom," says McSwain. "So they have the power now to manage their own sexual health."
But correct use is key. Which is why Kehinde Hall of Community Education Group says outreach workers give detailed instructions. CEG is handing out condoms throughout Wards 7 and 8.
"We got like 200 establishments that we distribute to," says Hall. "Beauty salons, barbershops, mom and pop stores, we got laundromats, tattoo parlors, we got some of the urban clothing stores."
CVS Pharmacy also is taking part in the campaign, by selling female condoms in all of its stores in D.C.