PEPFAR’s recently released Fiscal Year 2011 Country Operational Plan Guidance includes female condoms in its guidance appendices, which are used in the field by U.S. embassies to guide program planning. This is the first time that female condoms have featured so prominently in any PEPFAR guidance document. This guidance is significant because it helps explain technical requirements, best practices, and what program managers should consider to align with U.S. Congressional and Administrative requirements and policies.
USAID has also shown signs of increased support for female condoms. USAID is hiring for a new position: Senior Condom Programming Advisor. This person will be housed within the Office of HIV/AIDS and will serve as a focal point for female and male condom programming for HIV prevention within PEPFAR. This is great news, and again is a testament that our advocacy to increase U.S. support for female condoms and comprehensive prevention is paying off. For more information about female condoms and U.S. support for female condoms, see the Prevention Now Campaign’s fact sheet on female condoms.
Continuing our work to educate the U.S. and global advocacy communities, researchers, and donors about the importance of female condoms for prevention of HIV and unintended pregnancy and the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights, CHANGE joined with partners at AIDS Foundation of Chicago, PATH, and AVAC to hold a strategy call on future female condom products, such as the PATH Woman’s Condom that is undergoing clinical trials. “Female Condoms of Today and Tomorrow: Strategy Call on Products and Research and Development (R&D) Advocacy” drew an audience of about 70 NGO leaders, researchers, funders, and U.S. government officials, who contributed to a lively discussion on how to move this advocacy agenda forward.