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The Female Health Company (FHC) announced that its second-generation FC2 Female CondomĀ® is now available for purchase in the United States. The condom received regulatory approval from the Food and Drug Administration in March as an HIV prevention method.

The new condoms will be 30% cheaper than its predecessor and are supposed to be more user friendly. FHC hopes this help in the fight against the global HIV epidemic and other sexually transmitted diseases.

The new female condom is synthetic rubber rather than polyurethane, allowing for a less costly manufacturing process and quieter sound that is less likely to disrupt the intimate act. Also there are hopes the new price will make it more attractive to health organizations for distribution.

While the female condom is not popular in the United States it is used widely in other countries, especially those countries that are hard hit by the HIV epidemic. It is seen as a tool to empower women and protect them even when their male partners will not.

“America’s HIV epidemic isn’t going away. In fact, it’s getting worse, and African American and Latino women are disproportionately impacted… It’s time to provide women in heavily impacted communities with expanded access to affordable women-controlled options, and the female condom becomes that choice. Women will use it if they have it,” said Dazon Dixon Diallo, Founder and President of SisterLove, a grassroots service organization that supports HIV/AIDS prevention and women’s reproductive health programs in the Atlanta, Georgia.

According to FHC, 7 of the top 10 states ranked by the rate of AIDS cases are in the U.S. South.

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