Inmates call Ron Osorio “West Hollywood” because the words are printed on the cream-colored cloth bag he carries inside Men’s Central Jail each Friday.
The bag is filled with 300 Lifestyle condoms. Osorio, who works for the nonprofit Center for Health Justice, has been visiting the jail almost weekly since 2001, when Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca approved a small but groundbreaking program that allowed the health group to pass out prophylactics to inmates in a segregated unit for gay men.
“We go to the dorms and a guy hands out the bagged lunches. There’s another guy that hands out the juice. . . . and I stand between those two as they go through the line. They get their lunch, they get a condom, and they get their juice,” Osorio said.
Not all inmates take condoms, but Osorio talks to those who do about the risks of HIV/AIDS.