Double Your Pleasure: Condom Nation Makes Two Stops in Boston!

The Condom Nation Big Rig Tour has embarked on the second annual U.S. Condom Nation tour with a goal of distributing more than 50 million condoms in the U.S. – Having already distributed over 675,000 condoms and tested nearly 300 individuals in seven states and the District of Columbia, the distribution team is ready to make a big impact on Beantown with events on June 11 in Dorchester and June 12 in Roxbury

BOSTON--()--AIDS Healthcare Foundation:

What:        

Free condom distribution & HIV testing event by Condom Nation in partnership with local health organizations

 
When &

TUESDAY, June 11th 2 pm – 7 pm

Where: Strand Theatre
543 Columbia Road (at Hancock Street)
Dorchester, MA 02125

Special Guest (Tuesday Only): City Council Member Ayanna Pressley

 

 

WEDNESDAY, June 12th 2 pm – 7 pm

McDonald’s
301 Warren Street (at Dale Street)
Roxbury, MA 02119
 
B-Roll: Custom-wrapped 18-wheel Condom Nation big rig and matching HIV testing van providing free condoms and testing
 
Contacts:

ON THE ROAD – Marco Benjamin, Condom Nation Program Manager, +1.347.577.2757 (mobile)

DORCHESTER – Irvienne Goldston, Action for Boston Community Development, +1.617.875.4761 (cell)

ROXBURY – Catrina Cooley, Multicultural AIDS Coalition, +1.617.372.4443 (cell)

LOS ANGELES – Kyveli Diener, AHF Marketing & Communications Coordinator, +1.310.779.4796 (mobile) or +1.323.960.4846 (office)

 

The mobile condom distribution team that distributed 5.5 million condoms throughout the U.S. last year, Condom Nation – an initiative from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization – has launched their second U.S. tour and is making two stops in Boston this week! Since the team’s 18-wheel, 72-foot custom-wrapped big rig and matching HIV testing sprinter van departed on a speedy cross-country cruise from California in March, Condom Nation has so far, in total, distributed over 675,000 free condoms and tested nearly 300 people for HIV at events in Texas, Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, and Washington, D.C.

The team’s specially decorated big rig and matching sprinter testing van will be parked on both days from 2 – 7 pm at the Strand Theatre at 543 Columbia Road in Dorchester on Tuesday, June 11 and at the McDonald’s at 301 Warren Street in Roxbury on Wednesday, June 12. There, Condom Nation representatives – including HIV advocate and Condom Nation Program Manager Marco Benjamin and Truck Manager Pat Ruiz – will hand out free condoms to the public while local health partners provide free HIV tests.

Partnering organizations for the two events include: Multicultural AIDS Coalition; Take the Test Boston; Boston Happens Program at Children’s Hospital; Whittier Street Health Center; Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts; Action for Boston Community Development Health Services Department; Outside of the Box Agency; Big City 101.3; and Project Protection at Martha Elliot Health Center.

Boston City Council Member Ayanna Pressley will also be present for Tuesday’s event at the Strand Theatre.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 1.4 million cases of chlamydia were reported in 2011, and reporting of new gonorrhea cases saw its second consecutive year of increase with more than 300,000 new cases that year. These are just some of the estimated 20 million new STD cases reported annually, half of which occur in young people aged 15-24. The CDC estimates the health care costs to the nation for treating these diseases – which are preventable through condom use – to be about $16 billion per year.

“Condom Nation is about access to condoms,” said Condom Nation Director James Vellequette. “Our goal is to make condoms easily and readily available for free or at a very minimal cost to those receiving them through our widespread, national, fun and motivated distribution efforts. Simultaneously, we need to eliminate the stigma around having condoms, carrying them, selling them, or best of all, giving them away so that everyone has access to them whenever they need them.”

The tour had a preliminary goal of distributing 25 million condoms through their domestic U.S. tour and an additional 25 million through newly launched global Condom Nation teams in countries around the world. However, with requests pouring in from public and private agencies across the US, coupled with new opportunities to access younger demographics through distribution to high schools and colleges, “we already see ourselves greatly exceeding our initial estimates,” said Vellequette, adding that 50 million condoms distributed in the U.S. alone is a more accurate projection.

Condom Nation left Los Angeles on Sunday, March 10th, and before arriving in Florida made stops in Dallas, Texas – where the team dropped over 600,000 condoms for distribution to agencies in need across the south – and in Little Rock, Arkansas, where they provided more than 50,000 condoms to the state’s Department of Health. Also in March, the team made six stops throughout Florida, distributing over 175,000 condoms. In recent weeks, the group distributed free condoms in connection with two AHF “Keep The Promise on AIDS” Marches and Rallies in Brooklyn, NY and Cleveland, OH, and hosted three condom distribution and HIV testing events in Washington, D.C.

After the two Boston-area events this week, the Condom Nation Tour will proceed to Springfield, Massachusetts and then on to Newark, New Jersey.

About AHF

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider in the USA. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to over 200,000 individuals in 28 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Asia. For more information, visit www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @AIDSHealthcare.

Contacts

‘Condom Nation’ National Tour Contact:
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Marco Benjamin
Program Manager
Condom Nation Tour
+1-347-577-2757 [cell]
marco.benjamin@aidshealth.org
or
Los Angeles Area Media Contact:
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Kyveli Diener
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
+1-323-308-1821, ext. 1805 [work]
+1-310-779-4796 [cell]
kyveli.diener@aidshealth.org

Contacts

‘Condom Nation’ National Tour Contact:
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Marco Benjamin
Program Manager
Condom Nation Tour
+1-347-577-2757 [cell]
marco.benjamin@aidshealth.org
or
Los Angeles Area Media Contact:
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Kyveli Diener
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
+1-323-308-1821, ext. 1805 [work]
+1-310-779-4796 [cell]
kyveli.diener@aidshealth.org