SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Female Health Company (FHC) (Nasdaq: FHCO) is supporting the launch of San Francisco's social marketing campaign to raise awareness and use of the FC2 Female Condom® among people living at risk of HIV infection. The FC2 Female Condom remains the only FDA-approved method of female-initiated HIV prevention available. FHC is working actively with public health departments and other partners to introduce FC2 in U.S. cities with the highest HIV prevalence rates.
According to the San Francisco Department of Public Health, from the first recorded cases of AIDS in 1981 through 2009, the city reported 19,080 AIDS deaths. At the end of 2009, nearly 16,000 San Franciscans were living with HIV infection. The city currently accounts for about 18 percent of all AIDS cases in California.
"I am very pleased to see such community excitement about the FC2 being available in our city. It is so important to give our communities another good option for taking control of the sexual health," said Susan Phillip, MD, Director of STD Prevention and Control, for San Francisco Department of Public Health.
The city's multifaceted communications and marketing effort is being conducted to promote the FC2 female condom as both an acceptable and affordable HIV prevention option. With funding and technical support provided by FHC and other partners, it is sponsoring train-the-trainer programs to equip San Francisco and Bay Area service organizations with the necessary skills to promote female condom usage amongst their clientele.Similar programs have been launched over the course of the past year in other cities such as Chicago, New York City and Washington. The San Francisco program has drawn on best practices and lessons learned by Washington, which launched a major FC2 social marketing program in 2010 that drew national and local media attention. Like Washington, DC, San Francisco will publicly promote FC2 using bus advertisements, posters and palm cards distributed by community agencies and neighborhood businesses. "It is so exciting that San Francisco, a national leader in HIV prevention efforts, is aggressively promoting another option for people who want to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies," said Mary Ann Leeper, FHC's senior strategic advisor. "FHC is thrilled to see this increasing collaboration of cities, public health departments, and community organizations to share best practices and increase the options available to promote safer sex." The FC2 Female Condom is currently the only FDA-approved and marketed product controlled by women that prevents sexually transmitted infections (STI) including HIV/AIDS. Used consistently and correctly, it provides women dual protection against STI and unintended pregnancy. The FC2 Female Condom does not compete with the male condom, but is an alternative to either male condom usage or unprotected sex.