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Houston Launches Innovative Partnership To Expand Access To The FC2 Female Condom

HOUSTON, March 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Female Health Company (FHC) (Nasdaq: FHCO) is teaming up with state and local health departments and local community-based organizations to provide Houston women with access to the FC2 Female Condom®, the only female-initiated method to prevent both sexually transmitted infections (including HIV/AIDS) and unintended pregnancy that is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FC2 will be introduced on March 10 at a series of events at clinics, hospitals, community-based health centers, and college campuses.  The events, timed to coincide with National Women and Girls' HIV/ AIDS Awareness Day, will provide participants with free FC2 Female Condoms as well as education on their use.  

FC2 will also be available for purchase at select Walgreens locations in the Houston area.  The cost of a pack of three FC2 Female Condoms ranges between $5.99 and $7.99. Walgreens stocks FC2 in more than 600 stores nationwide.    

Since 1999, as reported by AIDS Foundation Houston and Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, 6,519 new HIV infections have been diagnosed among youth under the age of 30 in Houston, including 922 teenagers.  In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to report that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is taking an increasing toll on women and girls.  Women of color, particularly black women, are disproportionately impacted by the disease; they comprise both the majority of new HIV and AIDS cases among women, and the majority of women living with the disease.

"Each year we reach over 50,000 Houstonians through our education and outreach programs," said Nike Lukan, Director of Prevention Services for AIDS Foundation Houston. "To be able to talk about and offer FC2 as an option to further prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS is an added benefit to our constituents."

Each of the 17 separate organizations hosting FC2 Female Condom launch events on March 10 has trained its participating representatives on how to educate its constituents on the use the FC2 female condom. Partners include the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Houston Department of Health and Human Services, AIDS Foundation Houston, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, YWCA Houston, and a number of local colleges and universities.  One event will include the introduction of a new "Status Red" lip gloss developed by LAMIK Beauty, a Houston-based cosmetics company, and the training of local hairstylists on how to engage their female clients with information on safer sex and the FC2 Female Condom.

"We are very pleased that the FC2 Female Condom is now available in Houston," said Susan Rokes, HIV Program Director for Planned Parenthood.  "This is a big step toward improving sexuality education and promoting reproductive health care."  

FC2 is currently the only FDA-approved prevention method that can be initiated and controlled by women. When used correctly and consistently, FC2 can prevent sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, and unintended pregnancy.  The FC2 Female Condom provides an alternative to either unprotected sex or to male condom usage.

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