AIDS activists ordered to stop distributing condoms in Phoenix park
A county administrator in Maricopa County, Ariz., has ordered AIDS activists and health workers to stop distributing free condoms and personal lubricant in Phoenix's Papago Park, a popular destination for men seeking sex with other men, The [Phoenix] Arizona Republic reports. The decision to stop the distribution of the "survival kits" was based on county officials' worries that the program was encouraging public sex in the park.
The program was being operated through a federally funded organization called MenPower, which distributes the safer-sex kits and HIV/AIDS information at places where gay men gather, including bars, bathhouses, and some public parks. MenPower will continue to distribute the packets in most locales, but county health officials have asked the organization to evaluate and report to them on the effectiveness of the "survival kit" distribution efforts.