Free condoms and HIV testing—Houston, March 22nd— 24th
AIDS group’s 70-foot, 18-wheel ‘Condom Nation’ big rig and companion Sprinter van continue national condom giveaway tour with stop in Houston, Texas. Goal: 6 months, 25-states, 10 million free condoms!
What: MEDIA AVAILABILITY—Free condom giveaway. AHF’s ‘Condom Nation’ 18-wheel semi truck continues six-month, 25-state free condom tour; advocates to hand out free condoms in Houston, Texas with local partners.
When & Where:
Condom Distribution events
- Wed, March 22nd – Sharpstown International High School 3:30 pm – 8:00 pm
8330 Triola Lane, Houston, TX 77036
- Thurs. March 23rd – Cricket Wireless Store 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
9511 Southwest Freeway, Ste B, Houston, TX 77074
James Vellequette, Associate Director, AHF’s ‘Condom Nation Tour’
70-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 70-foot long, 18 wheel ‘Condom Nation’ big rig truck and a companion ‘Condom Nation’ Sprinter van amble into Dallas, Texas—the eighth city of the ‘Condom Nation Tour’–a groundbreaking 25-state, six-month nationwide tour to select cities, towns and states to hand out ten million free condoms and provide 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 from the famed Boardwalk in Venice Beach, California as part of AHF’s worldwide observation of International Condom Day—an informal holiday observed annually on February 13th in conjunction with Valentine’s Day.
This three-day stop for AHF’s ‘Condom Nation’ tour lands in ‘Space City’—Houston, Texas
The condom giveaway and events start on Wednesday, March 22nd from 3:30 pm – 8:00 pm at the Sharpstown International High School, 8330 Triola Lane, Houston, TX 77036.
On Thursday, March 23rd, the tour roves to the Cricket Wireless Store, 9511 Southwest Freeway, Ste B, Houston, TX 77074 from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm where free condoms will be given away.
On Friday, March 24th, the tour will be out at a Health Fair spearheaded by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. The Health Fair takes place at the Gregory Lincoln Middle School, 1101 Taft Street, Houston, Texas 77019.
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, HIV and unwanted pregnancies. In addition, the average $1 retail price per condom is offset by a production cost of only $.04, leaving $.96 for profit. Retail priced condoms are simply too expensive for many people to afford and locations providing free condoms are often geographically distant from those who need them.
“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 Houston partners at free condom give-away events over the next week.”
‘Condom Nation’ will:
- Partner with 25+ local advocates in 25 states to distribute ten million free 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 (Mar 1-2 with the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS); Albuquerque, NM (Mar 7th with New Mexico AIDS Services); Oklahoma City (Mar 9-11 with Guiding Light, Inc.) Ft. Worth, TX (Mar 13-14) Dallas, TX (Mar 15-16); San Antonio, TX (Mar 17-22) Houston, TX (Mar 22-24); Lafayette, LA (Mar 27 with Aspirations, Inc.) Baton Rouge, LA (Mar 28-31 with Aspirations, Inc.); (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 on February 15, 2012 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