New York City's free condom initiative began in 1971, when the Health Department started distributing male condoms through its STD clinics. In the last 40 years, the NYC Condom program has expanded by distributing condoms in community based organizations in the ‘80s, debuting the country’s first municipally branded condom, the NYC Condom, which is a lubricated Lifestyles male condom – the same one sold in stores – with its own distinctive wrapper in 2007, launching its own Facebook page in 2008, and by holding an online NYC Condom wrapper design contest in 2010. The agency now distributes more than 3 million condoms every month through a growing network of over 3,000 partners. As a result, New York City residents can now find them in bars, clubs, restaurants, gyms and coffee houses, as well as clinics and community centers. Any NYC-based organization, public or private, can order them in bulk by calling 311 or by visiting (search word: condoms).

Using a condom every time you have anal, oral or vaginal sex protects you and your partners from getting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia, genital herpes, hepatitis B and syphilis, and prevents unplanned pregnancies.

Although nothing except not having sex provides 100% protection, condoms are approximately 95% effective when used correctly and consistently in preventing HIV, other STDs and unplanned pregnancy. For more information on HIV, STDs and other methods of birth control, visit,