Queens residents will be able to go to six locations around the borough to pick up free condoms — compliments of the cty.
Last week, the city Health Department announced it would be handing out 18 million condoms a year in its campaign to fight HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases as well as prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Using a subway style logo, the condoms are being distributed in bars, retail outlets and city clinics. Queens has six locations while Manhattan has 54, Brooklyn 19, the Bronx two and Staten Island one.
Sara Markt, spokeswoman for the Department of Health, said that more locations in Queens will be added soon. “Any business can sign up to distribute the condoms,” she said.
The Queens locations include three city health clinics and three gay bars. They are:
Astoria Department of Health, 112 26 31st Ave., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday;
Corona Department of Health, 34 33 Junction Blvd., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday;
Jamaica Department of Health, 90 37 Parsons Blvd., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday;
Club Atlantis, 76 19 Roosevelt Ave., Jackson Heights, 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., Friday through Monday;
Friends Tavern, 78 11 Roosevelt Ave., Jackson Heights, 4 p.m. to 4 a.m., Monday to Friday; and
The Music Box, 40 08 74th St., Jackson Heights, 4 p.m. to 4 a.m., Monday through Sunday.
Called NYC Condom, it is the first city in the country with an official brand for condoms. The city started giving out condoms in 1971 through its civics. That was expanded in the 1980s to include communty based service organizations.
“For sexually active people, using a condom is key to staying healthy,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, city health commissioner.
The city’s publicity campaign will blanket subways, phone booths and other public places with ads in English and Spanish about using condoms.
Philip Glotzer is executive director of the AIDS Center of Queens County, the largest boroughwide nonprofit group dedicated to serving people with HIV/AIDS. His group is one of many throughout the city that distributes the city’s condoms.
“This is a win win situation,” he said. “It’s one way to stop the spread of HIV,” noting there have been 17,000 AIDS cases in Queens since the 1980s.
Meanwhile, last Thursday, a day after the city handed out 150,000 condoms, the heads of the Catholic Archdioceses of New York and Brooklyn released a joint statement condemning the distribution. They are promoting abstinence before marriage and fidelity for married couples to protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
For more information on where to get the free condoms in the city, call 311 or log onto the Health Department’s special Web site www.nyccondom.org.