Objectives: This article describes the implementation and impact of the first statewide condom social marketing intervention in the United States.
Methods: A statewide social marketing program made condoms freely available in 93 public health clinics, 39 community mental health centers, 29 substance abuse treatment sites, and more than 1000 businesses in neighborhoods with high rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV. Surveys about condom use were conducted annually.
Results: Between 1994 and 1996, more than 33 million condoms were distributed without significant opposition. Over time, self-reported condom use at the last sexual encounter increased among African American women (from 28% in 1994 to 36% in 1996), particularly African American women with 2 or more sex partners (from 30% to 48%). Condom use at the last sexual encounter increased among African American men (from 40% in 1994 to an average of 54% in 1996). The number of reported sex partners did not increase.
Conclusions: Condom social marketing can be successfully implemented in the United States. The widespread availability of free condoms is associated with increased condom use, particularly among persons at high risk for STDs and HIV.