SF first city to pass out female condoms to gay men

Published: February 14, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — San Francisco is the first city in the nation distributing new female condoms for gay men. The idea is to promote another tool that could reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections.

In San Francisco, there’s always more to Valentine’s Day than just flowers and chocolates. Female condoms were handed out Monday at City Hall courtesy of the health department. It’s the same design as the original version but made of Nitrile.

"That’s the material found commonly in surgical gloves. It’s the non-latex alternative for those people who have latex allergies," said Susan Philip, M.D., from the San Francisco Health Department.

People on the street were somewhat interested. Others, not so much. Young and not so young said they would give it a try.

The female condoms, called FC2, are meant to avoid unintended pregnancies. But San Francisco made headlines on Monday because the condoms are also meant for gay men. FC2 has been approved by the FDA for use by women, not gay men. But according to the San Francisco Health Department gay men are the ones asking for its approval and distribution. Some say it could be a better option for them as they try to prevent HIV in the gay community.

In fact, posters will appear this week on Muni buses and street cars.

Raymond Dennehy, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy at USF. He says the Catholic Church opposes condoms for women and now in this case men.

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