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Put Your Mark on Safer Sex

Put Your Mark on Safer Sex

Continuing its long history of condom promotion, New York City is giving residents the opportunity to submit designs for a "special, limited-edition" condom wrapper that will debut in fall 2010.

The contest, announced by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, is open to New Yorkers age 17 (with parent's or guardian's permission) and older. The deadline is January 22. A panel of health and social marketing experts, advertising professionals, and artists will announce the finalists in February, and the winner will be determined via online voting.

"Besides appearing on several hundred thousand condom wrappers, the winning design may be featured in future condom promotions," according to health department officials.

The health department began distributing condoms at its clinics in 1971, expanding the program to include community-based health groups in the 1980s -- ending criticism over what activists claimed was a slow response to the AIDS epidemic.

New York now distributes 41 million male and female condoms a year through a coalition of more than 2,000 organizations. The NYC Condom has become a brand name with a distinctive wrapper.

"The NYC Condom has helped New Yorkers talk about and practice safer sex," says health commissioner Thomas A. Farley.

Submissions must be original art and cannot include images that are copyrighted, trademarked, or sexually explicit. Proposals can be submitted online and in hard copy by visiting

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