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In an effort to measure the effectiveness and scope of a condom distribution program begun last year, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is developing its own brand of condoms that will have "noticeable and memorable" packaging, The New York Times reports. The health department launched the "Free Condom Initiative" in June 2005 to help drive down rising rates of sexually transmitted HIV infections in the city. The program provides free condoms to community and social service organizations, which in turn distribute them within their communities. But the health department wants to be able to better track just how widespread the condom distribution has been and believes it will be easier to spot condoms in the unique packaging to see just where and how they're being distributed.
The condom development program is still in its earliest stages, and no specific package design has been announced, says a health department spokeswoman. The condoms are expected to be available in the next four to six months. (Advocate.com)