‘Rubber Revolution’ to fight AIDS in Washington

The Washington DC Department of Health has launched a new campaign being dubbed by officials as “The Rubber Revolution.”

When you hear revolution you think change,” said Dr. NnemdiKamanu-Elias, the Senior Deputy Director for the HIV/AIDS Hepatitis Tuberculosis and STD Administration (HAHSTA) within the Washington DC Deptarment of Health.

In a city where 3 percent of people are HIV positive, a higher rate than any other city in the country, Elias said change is needed.

We’re having ads on TV, on the radio. Mixed media, Facebook, Twitter, on the sides of buses.We have text messaging.People can text and ask for where free condoms are they can go get it,” she said.

Their website uses bold in-your-face 70’s style lettering, urging people to use condoms. You can even take the quiz to see what kind of condom you are, and send in videos about the Rubber Revolution.

Meanwhile, the Washington DC Police Department is not necessarily on the same page. Several people arrested for being sex workers in this city said the police told them they simply had too many condoms on their person to be just another person out to get lucky.

So why, when everyone knows people should have safe sex, aren’t they?

Dr. Elias said they conducted surveys and the most common excuses were that, “People think they’re too big, condoms will be tight, and we’re addressing that. People think it will spoil the moment and our ads address that as well. People think it shows that they don’t trust their partner. And we try to address that as well.”