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DC to Use Condoms To Quell AIDS

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WASHINGTON, Dec 02, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The next time Washington residents visit the Department of Motor Vehicles they can pick up free condoms.

To stem the nation's highest incidence of AIDS, the district Health Department will soon install 50 plain white condom dispensers at the departments of Human Services, Motor Vehicles and Public Works, among others, the Washington Post reported.

"They're going to be as common as water fountains," Ivan O. Torres, interim director of the city's HIV/AIDS Administration, said of the dispensers. "This is no longer something to be ashamed of. It affects all of us."

The administration plans to pass out in the next year: about 550,000 male condoms, 45,000 latex dental dams and about 30,000 female condoms in the government officers but at beauty salons, barbershops and nightclubs. The district's public school system currently gives out about 50,000 male condoms a year.

Robert E. Rector, a family-issues researcher at the Heritage Foundation questions the effectiveness of the government program.

"The No. 1 determinant of whether a person will catch a sexually transmitted disease is the number of lifetime sexual partners," he said.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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