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New York City Seal
Press Release
New York City Department of Health
Office of Public Affairs
CONTACT: Sandra Mullin/Andrew Tucker
Tuesday, June 4, 2002
(212) 788-5290
(877) 640-1347


"BYOC - Bring Your Own Condom" Campaign Directed At Men Who Have Sex With Men Has Begun Running on Subways, Bus Shelters and Telephone Booths

The New York City Department of Health (DOH) announced today the launch of a new HIV prevention and education campaign "BYOC (Bring Your Own Condom)." The campaign was developed in collaboration with the New York City Prevention Planning Group and other City HIV prevention leaders. BYOC urges condom use for HIV prevention, and promotes DOH's AIDS Hotline - 1-800-TALK-HIV (1-800-825-5448) - which provides access to free counseling on and testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including syphilis.

"Condoms save lives," said New York City Health Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH. "While HIV/AIDS deaths have been leveling off citywide in recent years, HIV disease is still among the leading five causes of death among New Yorkers. HIV prevention remains a top priority at the Health Department. Campaigns such as BYOC, which deliver the message that safer sex saves lives, are crucial to our efforts. The first phase of the BYOC campaign is targeted to young men who have sex with men of color - a population with continuing high rates of new HIV infection in New York City. The message of safer sex saves lives, however, is intended to remind all New Yorkers that HIV is a fatal disease that can be prevented by using latex condoms."

BYOC is currently appearing on subways, bus shelters and telephone booths. Additionally, a brochure, postcards, and condom packs with the campaign slogan in English and Spanish are being distributed in bars, restaurants, gyms, bookstores, and other locations throughout the City. The second phase of the campaign, which targets young women of color, will begin running in July. In May, DOH, together with the New York City Prevention Planning Group and other community-based organizations, introduced the campaign at Heaven, a club in Chelsea, Manhattan.

The New York City Department of Health has more than 375 contracts with community agencies and organizations that provide a wide spectrum of medical care and support services for people with HIV and other STDs and their families. For more information on HIV/STD prevention in New York City, call 1-800-TALK-HIV or visit