Access/Condoms

Sometimes, people talk about the days before abortion, when condoms were unavailable for purchase by women (read, unmarried women). Many forms of contraceptives that were once unavailable are now, at least in theory, available. If you've been through adolescence and early adulthood, you may have bought something "private," anything from tampons to condoms to a pregnancy test; making such a purchase may have been somewhat (terribly) embarrassing. Nothing wrong with the purchase, mind you. But in whatever item, there's a public exposure to something that may feel private.

At least you could pick said item off the shelf rather than have to ask for it.

Turns out, you are much more likely to be able to purchase a condom off the shelf at a CVS pharmacy in a predominantly white area than one that is more heavily Latino or African American. Cure CVS is an initiative of Change to Win in coalition with other organizations, and it's taking on issues related to access. In communities where the AIDS rate is skyrocketing, the potential roadblock of having to ask for a box of condoms endangers the community's health (You say, but what if unlocked condoms are likely to be stolen? I say, better stolen than unused.) Click the link to learn more about how insidious racism really is–and to see how you can help to change things for the better.

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Author: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser's work has appeared on the New York Times, Salon, and the Manifest Station amongst other places. Find her on Twitter @standshadows

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