Utah Republican Gov. Gary Herbert has blocked the state health department from distributing condoms with suggestive packaging slogans that were part of a new HIV prevention campaign.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports: The wrappers riff on various Utah memes, with labels such as “Greatest Sex on Earth,” “SL,UT,” an image of a highway sign that displays the number of miles to towns “Fillmore” and “Beaver,” and “This is the Place” over a drawing of a bed. “It’s really just to destigmatize HIV in Utah, and get everybody talking about sexual health,” said Erin Fratto, of the Utah Department of Health’s Prevention Treatment and Care Program, in an interview on Wednesday before the governor’s action. “If the condoms are fun, relatable, sex positive — people are more apt to talk about them, which we’ve already seen.” A statement issued Wednesday evening by the governor’s office said: “The Governor understands the importance of the Utah Department of Health conducting a campaign to educate Utahns about HIV prevention. He does not, however, approve the use of sexual innuendo as part of a taxpayer-funded campaign, and our office has asked the department to rework the campaign’s branding.”
About 100,000 of the condoms were to be distributed as part of a federally funded campaign called <a href="http://<!– wp:paragraph –> <p>The condoms are part of the Utah health department's federally funded "The H is for Human" campaign, which includes the website <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://hivandme.com/" target="_blank">HIVandME.com</a>. . The condoms are part of the stateSimilar marketing campaigns have been used in other states. </p>