What: MEDIA AVAILABILITY—Free condom giveaway and free HIV testing event(s). AHF’s ‘Condom Nation’ 18-wheel semi truck continues six-month, 20-state free condom tour; advocates to hand out condoms in Las Vegas
When: February 21st through 25th various times, locations in Las Vegas
Where & When:
Feb. 21 – (Tuesday) Mardi Gras
Condom distribution/gay bar hopping in Las Vegas with the group, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
The Garage—1487 East Flamingo Road Suite.B – 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Fun Hog Ranch—495 East Twain – 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Charlie’s—5012 South Arville Street, south of West Tropicana Ave -11:00 pm – Midnight
The Fruit Loop Area of Las Vegas—several bars with a few blocks – Midnight onward
Feb. 23 – (Thursday) Las Vegas – Condom giveaway & HIV testing event
Gay and Lesbian Community Center, 953 E. Sahara Ave. Ste. B31, Las Vegas
Testing to be done by Southern Nevada Health Dept.
Feb. 24 – (Friday) Las Vegas – Condom event w/Sisters – “bar hopping” (sites TBD)
Feb. 25 – (Saturday) Las Vegas – Condom & HIV testing event at ‘Red Dress’ fundraiser for the Sisters
World Market Center, 495 S. Grand Central Parkway (downtown)
HIV Testing to be done by Southern Nevada Health Dept.
• Sin City Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
• the Southern Nevada Health District
• the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada
Who: James Vellequette, Associate Director, AHF’s ‘Condom Nation Tour’
Joey Terrill, Domestic Advocacy Manager, AHF
B-Roll 53-foot, 18-wheel ‘Condom Nation’ big-rig with condoms and safer sex education
materials; advocates with ‘cigarette girl’ style trays giving out ‘LOVE’ condoms
ON THE ROAD— James Vellequette, Associate Director, ‘Condom Nation’ Tour, +1.323.573.3005 cell
LOS ANGELES—Ged Kenslea, AHF Communications, +1.323.791.5526 cell
AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s (AHF) ‘Condom-Nation’ tour—AHF’s specially-designed 53-foot long, 18 wheel ‘Condom Nation’ big rig truck and a companion ‘Condom Nation’ Sprinter van roll into Las Vegas, Nevada—the second stop on ‘Condom Nation’–a groundbreaking 20-state, six-month nationwide tour to select cities, towns and states to hand out millions of free condoms and safer sex information in conjunction with local partners who are offering free HIV testing at many of the stops along the tour. ‘Condom Nation’ was launched last week from the famed Boardwalk in Venice Beach, California as part of AHF’s worldwide observation of International Condom Day—an informal holiday observed on February 13th in conjunction with Valentine’s Day.
This week’s stop for AHF’s ‘Condom Nation’ tour is Las Vegas, where AHF is partnering with the local organizations ‘The ‘Sin City’ Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’ and Southern Nevada Health District and the Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center of Southern Nevada for lively condom distribution events as well as two HIV testing events the week of February 21st through 25th.
The ‘Condom Nation’ big rig (and the similarly-wrapped, smaller ‘Condom Nation’ sprinter van) will conclude the U.S. tour in late July in Washington, DC, arriving just before the opening of the XIX International AIDS Conference in that city.
“Condom Nation is a serious, yet somewhat whimsical and creative effort by AIDS Healthcare Foundation to help promote increased condom use and to help make condoms more accessible and affordable,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “Condoms are an essential part of preventing HIV and STDs. Not only are they extremely effective at preventing transmission, they are cheaper and easier to use than many other prevention tools. Our hope is that Condom Nation raises awareness and sparks conversations along the way—both on the coasts and in the heartland—about the importance condoms and the crucial role they play in disease prevention and safer sex.”
Currently, there are approximately 48,000 new HIV infections and 19 million new STD infections every year in the United States.
Unfortunately, few people have reliable and affordable access to condoms. Recent studies show that when condoms are available and reasonably priced or at no cost, more people use them as a protective measure against STDs and unwanted pregnancies. In addition, the average wholesale price to make one condom is approximately $.04 leaving $.96 for profit. This is still too expensive for many people.
“In order to better protect the public health, we need universal access to condoms and they need to be available at an extremely low cost,” said James Vellequette, Associate Director for AHF’s ‘Condom Nation.’ “This tour is a national call to action to achieve these goals and we are delighted to be working with our Las Vegas partners at condom and HIV testing events over the next week.”
‘Condom Nation’ will:
• Partner with 25+ local advocates in about 20 states to distribute free over one million condoms
• Educate and raise awareness about safe sex practices
• Promote the use of condoms through education and advertising
• Spearhead a national advocacy campaign to lower the price of condoms
Condom Nation Cities
Some of the cities the Condom Nation Tour will visit include Venice, CA (2/13/12 tour launch); Oakland, CA (Feb 17); Las Vegas, NV (Feb 21-25, condom & testing events various nights with local partners: South Nevada Health District Office of AIDS, The Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada and The Sin City Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence); Phoenix, AZ (Feb 28-Mar 2); Albuquerque, NM (Mar 5-8); Ft. Worth, TX (Mar 13-14, condoms and testing) Dallas, TX (Mar 15-16, condom + testing); San Antonio, TX (Mar 17-22) New Orleans (Mar 24-27); Baton Rouge, LA (Mar 28-31); Jackson, MS (April 2-16, other cities TBD); Atlanta, GA (April 18-22, condom and testing with groups Citywide and ACT NOW!) St. Petersburg, FL; Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Jacksonville, FL; Fayetteville, NC and other locations still to be worked out with the Condom Nation Tour culminating in Washington, DC on July 22, 2012—where AHF is also spearheading the ‘Keep the Promise’ on HIV/AIDS Treatment March on Washington on July 22nd.
According to a December 2011 HIV/AIDS Policy Fact Sheet produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the CDC reports that there are approximately 1.1 million people currently living with HIV/AIDS in the United States; an estimated 20% of these individuals do not even know they are infected. In addition, a new news posting published this week on the website www.aidsmap.com reports that as many of half of all, “…new HIV transmissions in the US originate in individuals who are unaware that they are HIV-positive, a modelling study published in the online edition of AIDS estimates. Only 20% of HIV infections in the US are undiagnosed, but the investigators calculated that they were the source of 49% of all new onward transmissions.”
To learn more about Condom Nation and find resources to help your community, please visit