CHICAGO (July 17) — The U.S. Agency for International Development has placed an order for more than 8.5 million FC female condoms, according to the product´s maker, Female Health Co.
The USAID has exercised an existing option allowing it to source up to 6 million female condoms from FHC in one calendar year.
For many years, the USAID has been among the largest international donors of contraceptives and condoms, according to Female Health. The company´s female condom traditionally has been made of polyurethane, although a recent development has seen the firm develop a cheaper FC2 nitrile rubber version, which can be mass produced more easily.
The agency´s HIV/AIDS "expanded response" strategy includes a central commodity fund for male and female condoms for HIV/AIDS programs. The strategy also attempts to ensure their rapid delivery to countries where they are needed.
"In increasing FC female condom procurement in 2006, USAID is demonstrating its commitment to supporting HIV/AIDS prevention efforts around the world," said O.B. Parrish, chairman and CEO of Female Health. "This commitment is particularly critical as the global community recognizes the increasing numbers of females affected by AIDS."
UNAIDS data show that 17.3 million women of 15 years and older around the world are now living with HIV. The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS, a UNAIDS Initiative, is calling for more money to be put into AIDS programs that work for women. This includes "closing the funding gap for the female condom and microbicides development," the company said.