Tag Archives: Safe-sex

Group to observe Earth Day by giving away condoms

The Center for Biological Diversity plans to celebrate Earth Day by asking people to think about saving the planet through safe sex — and giving out condoms.

The center is distributing 25,000 free Endangered Species Condoms nationwide for Earth Day to highlight the connection between reproductive rights and the wildlife extinction crisis, according to a news release.

The condoms will be given away by 300 volunteers at Earth Day events, rallies and on college campuses.

From CBD: With human population continuing to grow at a rate of about 227,000 people per day, driving habitat loss and competition for natural resources, ensuring that people only have children if and when they’re ready is a critical part of protecting wildlife. But the United States has the highest fertility rate of any industrialized nation, and nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended.

“The real heart of the issue is that Americans, women especially, don’t have access to contraception or family planning tools they want or need to make decisions about their reproductive futures. While the rate of unintended pregnancy has recently dropped in the United States, it’s still incredibly high,” said Leigh Moyer, the center’s population organizer. “Right now it seems like lawmakers are doing everything they can to restrict reproductive healthcare. If we want to have healthy human — and wildlife — families we need to protect and expand access to reproductive healthcare for everyone.”

The United States scored a D+ overall on reproductive rights, according to the Population Institute’s 2015 Reproductive Health and Rights Report Card.

That’s down from a C last year, due to an “extremely hostile” atmosphere around reproductive health and rights, a teen pregnancy rate higher than any other developed country and a wave of funding cuts and restrictive policies.

The center’s Endangered Species Condoms were created to raise awareness about the effect of human population growth on wildlife species and are wrapped in colorful packages featuring six different endangered species and information about the impact of runaway human population growth on polar bears, monarch butterflies and other imperiled wildlife.

The center has given away 650,000 of the free condoms since 2009.

The center is also launching a new video series on YouTube and Facebook where staff have frank discussions about how most environmental catastrophes, including the extinction crisis, are driven by human population growth and overconsumption.

The Center for Biological Diversity plans to celebrate Earth Day by asking people to think about saving the planet through safe sex — and giving out condoms. — PHOTO: designed by Lori Lieber with artwork by Shawn DiCriscio. © 2015
The Center for Biological Diversity plans to celebrate Earth Day by asking people to think about saving the planet through safe sex — and giving out condoms. — PHOTO: Designed by Lori Lieber with artwork by Shawn DiCriscio.

Complaint: Porn filmed in Florida lacks condoms

An HIV/AIDS organization that successfully pushed for a Los Angeles County law mandating condom use in the adult film industry has filed a complaint about a porn movie made in Florida after it says filmmakers started shifting production to other states to avoid the law. 

The California-based organization, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, formally requested an investigation in a letter to Florida’s Department of Health. The complaint claims that a Florida production took health risks by making pornography without condoms.

AHF President Michael Weinstein said that California-based porn producers are trying to get around the new L.A. county law, known as Measure B, by having actors perform outside the state.

“We are not going to allow the industry to play a shell game in order to evade the laws we have. It’s not going to work,” Weinstein told reporters in a conference call. “Our concern is the health and safety of the performers.”

The filming was done by North Miami Beach-based D&E Productions on a contract with San Diego Boy Productions, according to D&E co-owner David Adamson. He said California porn makers are outsourcing work in which actors don’t wear condoms to filmmakers in other states, like him. Florida, especially the areas around Miami and Fort Lauderdale, has long had a robust pornography industry.

“The state of Florida, they don’t care. There’s nothing on the books regarding condom use,” Adamson said, adding that all his actors are over age 18 and do the work voluntarily.

“Anybody who does condom-less porn, we get them tested and we make sure they are clean,” he added.

The AHF complaint asks state health officials to investigate the D&E production as a “sanitary nuisance,” which involves actions by individuals or companies that might cause spread of disease. AHF wants universal condom use to protect porn performers from AIDS, syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases – and they say testing of actors isn’t enough.

A Department of Health spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. In 2010, AHF filed similar complaints in Florida but was told there was no way to prove the productions were made in Florida.

This time, Weinstein said, the proof comes from the pornographers themselves.

AHF initially filed a complaint in February against San Diego Boy with the California Department of Industrial Relations, which regulates workplace safety issues for that state. In its response, San Diego Boy said the material in question was done on contract by D&E in Florida. The company even provided invoices detailing the work done by actors with names like “Vince & Marcus” and “Clark & Texas.”

“We hope to get a better response from the state of Florida as a result,” Weinstein said.

The Los Angeles County condom law was approved by voters there last November and survived a legal challenge by porn producers when a federal judge last month upheld its constitutionality and said supporters provided sufficient evidence that it would alleviate health risks.

LA County says ‘suit up’ with condom

Los Angeles County is saying “suit up” with its official condom, which isn’t flavored and doesn’t glow in the dark.

The million condoms that the health department is distributing to promote safer sex features a bow-tie design and encourages users to “Suit Up.”

The condoms are free, part of the county’s campaign to curb the spread of STDs.

The stylish “Suit Up” prophylactic is the winner of a Next Sex Symbol contest sponsored by the health department, which reviewed about 500 entries.

A runner up resembled a Hollywood Walk of Fame star with gender symbols for heterosexual and homosexual couples and the slogan “Safe Sex Star.”

Another entry displayed the word Hollywood with “wood” wrapped in a purple condom.

Download a PDF of the current issue of Wisconsin Gazette and join our Facebook community.

HIV-positive man appeals conviction for having sex

An HIV-positive man sentenced to lifetime registration as a sex offender is petitioning the Iowa Supreme Court for post-conviction relief.

Nick Rhoades was sentenced to 25 years in prison and must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life for a one-time sexual encounter with another man during which they used a condom, according to Lambda Legal, which is representing him in the appeal.

“This conviction cannot stand because someone who engages in safe sex is not guilty of criminal transmission of HIV,” said Christopher Clark, a senior attorney for Lambda. “Nick’s use of a condom clearly indicates that he was protecting his sexual partner from exposure.”

In June 2008, Rhoades engaged in sexual activity with Adam Plendl during which they used a condom. Several days later, Plendl learned that Rhoades might be HIV-positive and he contacted the police.

The police arrested Rhoades and, on the advice of his lawyer, Rhoades pleaded guilty.

Lambda says that despite the use of a condom and the fact that Plendl did not contract HIV, Rhoades was convicted of intentionally exposing Plendl to the virus and received a maximum sentence: 25 years in prison and lifetime registration as a sex offender.

Several months later, the court suspended the prison sentence and placed Rhoades on probation.

Rhoades, with the help of Lambda, is arguing to the Iowa Supreme Court that he had ineffective assistance from his initial attorney.

“To think that for the rest of my life I’ll be branded as a felon and sex-offender, all because of a one-time safe sex encounter where no HIV was transmitted, is unimaginable,” Rhoades said in a news release.

According to Lambda, 39 states have HIV-specific criminal statutes. In the last two years, there have been more than 80 prosecutions of HIV-related criminal charges.

“Criminal laws, like the one in Iowa, unjustly target people living with HIV and subject them to unwarranted prosecution and punishment,” said Scott Schoettes, HIV project director for Lambda Legal. “By representing people like Nick Rhoades, we are doing what we can to ensure these outdated and unnecessary laws are not abusively misused against people whose conduct is not actually prohibited under them.”

Download a PDF of the current issue of Wisconsin Gazette and join our Facebook community.

Company won’t allow ‘Down There’ safe-sex ad on Ohio billboard

A health department’s plans to post a billboard as part of a safe-sex ad campaign hit a snag when an ad company refused to accept a spot featuring a shirtless man and an arrow pointing “down there.”

The Columbus, Ohio, Public Health agency’s “Take Care Down There” campaign is targeted at young gay African-American men and gay men over 40, spokesman Jose Rodriguez said. It was launched in March with an ad in Outlook, a local magazine for gay readers, and also will use radio spots, print ads, bar coasters, pocket cards and social media sites.

Clear Channel felt the billboard was inappropriate and specifically objected to the arrow and had concerns that it would be seen by children, said spokesman Jim Cullinan.

“We suggested some slight alterations which would have made the ad acceptable, but those small changes were rejected,” the company said in a statement. “Clear Channel is a member of the Columbus community and we have a responsibility to the community to ensure ad copy on our billboards is appropriate.”

Rodriguez said the company wanted the arrow removed completely from the billboard, so health department officials decided to seek out other ad companies to post the message.

“It was very disappointing that they made an objective decision not to allow our board,” he said.

It was to be placed in a neighborhood in downtown Columbus that Rodriguez described as diverse.

The theme was created input from two focus groups from the populations being targeted, Rodriguez said.  

“Those folks kind of led the way,” he said. “They wanted it to be clear, simple, succinct and to the point.”

The $20,000 campaign is funded by federal money aimed at preventing sexually transmitted diseases. Additional phases of the campaign will garget other populations.

Download a PDF of the current issue of Wisconsin Gazette and join our Facebook community.