WASHINGTON, March 10 The MAC AIDS Fund, the Female Health Company, CVS/pharmacy, Washington AIDS Partnership, and the DC Department of Health (DOH) have announced an innovative partnership today in Washington, D.C., to provide increased access to, availability of and information about the new female condom, FC2.
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Backed by a $500,000 grant from the MAC AIDS Fund, five local nonprofit organizations will distribute 500,000 female condoms, through a grassroots prevention and education program in the neighborhoods of the city hardest hit by HIV/AIDS. The program will be implemented by Calvary Healthcare, Inc., Community Education Group, Our Place, DC, Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, and the Women's Collective. Additionally, female condoms will be available for widespread purchase at 56 CVS/pharmacy stores in the District.
The nation's capital has the highest HIV/AIDS rates in the country, with 3% of all adults and adolescents in the District living with HIV/AIDS. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers any percentage above 1% a severe epidemic. Among new HIV cases, nearly 40% of infections are attributable to heterosexual contact. The goal of this initiative is to empower women to protect themselves from HIV and other STDs by adding the female condom to their toolkit of sexual health protection. D.C. has one of only two large-scale free condom distribution programs in the country.
"Women have become disadvantaged in prevention and treatment and we need a game-changer," said Nancy Mahon, the Executive Director of the MAC AIDS Fund. "A recent survey we published found that women are putting themselves at risk in part because they feel they can't negotiate safe sex. Our hope is that the FC2 female condom will get us one step closer to stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS." The FC2 Female CondomŪ is the only woman-initiated form of protection currently available against unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STI), including HIV. It is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and listed on the WHO Essential Products List.
"We are thrilled to help bring new tools to the fight against HIV/AIDS in Washington, D.C.," said Mary Ann Leeper, Ph.D., FHC's senior strategic adviser. "We developed the FC2 Female Condom to give women affordable access to woman-initiated HIV prevention, and we are committed to working with the DC HIV/AIDS Administration and other public sector partners to put the power of HIV prevention in women's hands."
"Key to the success of this initiative will be education," said Channing Wickham, executive director of the Washington AIDS Partnership. "This program represents a paradigm shift in HIV/AIDS prevention activities targeting women, and gives us a new weapon to combat the epidemic."
In addition to distribution through community- and women-focused organizations, the Female Condom is now available for purchase exclusively at CVS/pharmacy stores in Washington, D.C., providing unprecedented and convenient access to the contraceptive. The 3-pack FC2 Female Condom retails for $6.49 at CVS/pharmacy.
"CVS/pharmacy is dedicated to providing our customers with convenient access to affordable products and services that enhance their health and well-being," said Gordon Howard, Area Vice President of CVS/pharmacy in Washington, D.C. "Ensuring access to the Female Condom at all of our stores in the District is critical to expanding awareness and use to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases. We are proud to participate in this initiative."
About The MAC AIDS Fund
The MAC AIDS Fund, the heart and soul of MAC Cosmetics, was established in 1994 to support men, women and children affected by HIV and AIDS globally. MAF is a pioneer in HIV and AIDS funding, providing financial support to organizations working with underserved regions and populations. As the largest corporate non-pharmaceutical funder in the arena, MAF is committed to addressing the link between poverty and HIV and AIDS by supporting diverse organizations around the world that provide a wide range of services to people living with HIV and AIDS. To date, MAF has raised more than $160 Million (U.S.) exclusively through the sale of MAC's VIVA GLAM Lipstick and Lipglass, donating 100 percent of the sale price to fight HIV and AIDS. For more information, visit www.macaidsfund.org.
About The Female Health Company
The Female Health Company, based in Chicago, Illinois, manufactures and markets the FC2 Female CondomŪ (FC2), which is distributed primarily by public health organizations and donor groups in about 100 countries around the world. The Company owns certain worldwide rights to the FC2 Female CondomŪ, including patents that have been issued in Europe, Canada, Australia, South Africa and Japan and are pending in various other countries. FC2 Female CondomŪ is the only available FDA-approved product controlled by a woman that offers dual protection against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, and unintended pregnancy. The World Health Organization (WHO) has cleared FC2 for purchase by U.N. agencies. For more information about the Female Health Company visit the Company's website at http://www.femalehealth.com and http://www.fc2femalecondom.com. If you would like to be added to the Company's e-mail alert list, please send an e-mail to FHCInvestor@femalehealthcompany.com.
CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), is America's leading retail pharmacy with more than 7,000 CVS/pharmacy and Longs Drug stores. CVS/pharmacy is committed to improving the lives of those we serve by making innovative and high-quality health and pharmacy services safe, affordable and easy to access, both in its stores and online at CVS.com. General information about CVS/pharmacy and CVS Caremark is available at http//info.cvscaremark.com.
About the Washington AIDS Partnership
The Washington AIDS Partnership is a collaboration of grantmaking organizations that leads an effective private-sector response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area through grantmaking, technical assistance, public policy initiatives, and investment in youth development through an AmeriCorps program. Since 1989, the Washington AIDS Partnership has granted over $18 million to more than 140 organizations. Currently, 30 major funders participate in the Washington AIDS Partnership, in addition to many smaller funders, organizations, and individuals. The Washington AIDS Partnership is a collaborative of Washington Grantmakers. For more information, visit www.washingtonaidspartnership.org.
SOURCE Female Health Company