Here is a time sensitive opportunity
for individuals and organizations to take action in support of HIV prevention!
This week the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee
on Obstetrics and Gynecology Devices will decide whether to recommend
approval of the FC2, the second generation of the Female Health Company’s
female condom. The Center
for Health and Gender Equity
(CHANGE), on behalf of the AIDS
Foundation of Chicago
and the National
Women’s Health Network,
is circulating a
letter for organizations to sign
that urges the FDA to consider the importance of female condoms when
deliberating the approval of the FC2. Individuals are also encouraged
to sign-on in support of this effort (click
The female condom is a proven HIV and pregnancy prevention
method that can be inserted independently and well in advance of intercourse.
As Lauren Sisson points out in her article Female
Condoms: Freedom Doesn’t Come Free,
the lack of access to and availability of female condoms has nothing
to do with their effectiveness and everything to do with a lack of investment.
Female condoms can reduce the rate of HIV transmission among women having
sex with an infected partner by more than 90 percent and studies show
that effective promotion and programming of the female condom results
in a significant increase in the total number of protected sex acts
between partners. Misconceptions
and biases against the female condom
have delayed international investment and, as a result, there is a high
cost-per-unit price. National governments, bilateral aid agencies,
and international donors could drive down the price of the female condom
by making bulk purchases, as they have done with virtually every reproductive
and sexual health technology, including male condoms.
The FC2 has been approved by
the World Health Organization and the United Nations Population Fund
for distribution by HIV/AIDS and family planning organizations. FDA
approval would enable USAID to purchase larger quantities of female
condoms and distribute them to non-governmental agencies providing services
to the millions of women living in nations with high HIV/AIDS infection
For more information about
this issue and CHANGE visit
the Prevention Now! web site.
Again, individuals are encouraged to sign-on in support of this effort
here) and representatives
from organizations wishing to sign on to the letter are asked to email
Jessica Terlikowski at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 5:00pm Central Time on Wednesday, December 10 to endorse the letter. Take action now
and sign on to urge the FDA to approve the FC2!