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The Female Health Company (FHC) announced that its second-generation FC2 Female Condom® 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.

“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” — 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.

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 Untied 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.

“We developed the female condom to provide women with access to HIV prevention that they can initiate. We know that women and men practice safer sex when they have access to more prevention methods, and we believe that access to the female condom can help millions of American women negotiate safer sex with their partners.” –Mary Ann Leeper, FHC’s senior strategic adviser.

For now the second-generation FC2 Female Condom is available to health organizations in the U.S. and will be available at Washington, D.C.-area CVS stores in December. FHC is working on marketing and partnerships to make the product more widely available in stores.