Kissing for Anal Rights

Michael Petrelis, pictured above holding aloft a "Reality" female condom, organized a Kiss-in zap in front of the Female Health Company's booth.


Vancouver, Canada - President Bill Clinton's hand-picked Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS has issued a call for studies on anal condom use by gay men as a barrier against contracting AIDS while engaging in sodomy. The Clinton AIDS task force states in its report that "[s]tudies should be funded to assess potential safety and efficacy of anal usage of insertive condoms."

Gay AIDS activists staged a kiss-in at the Female Health Company's, the manufacturer of the Reality Female Condom, booth in the exhibit hall of the BC Place complex to call attention to the company being denied Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permission to market the device to gay men

Though a polyurethane pouch was approved as an AIDS barrier by the FDA in 1992, it was only as a vaginal device. Due to sodomy laws, the FDA denied approval of Reality for anal use.

Because of their fear of the religious right and anti-sodomy laws, currently on the books in about half of the United States, FHC isn't submitting the "reality" condom for FDA consideration for anal intercourse.

AIDS activists are angry that social prejudice is getting in the way of a vital AIDS prevention possibility.

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Source: Associated Press June 25, 1996

NEW YORK -- The Reality condom, a lubricated plastic pouch for women, is quietly gaining favor among gay men as the newest way to avoid AIDS during sex.

However, the condom remains scientifically unproven for men and the manufacturer has no plans for tests, saying it doesn't have the money and doesn't want to touch off a furor over the morality of anal sex, which is still outlawed in nearly half the states.

Although gay men who have used the condom say it works well, government regulators won't allow it to be promoted for such use without extensive clinical trials that usually involve thousands of people and cost millions of dollars.

This means that many gay couples and heterosexuals who engage in anal sex might never find out about a potentially lifesaving product.

"I wish I had had this device sooner because then I wouldn't have contracted HIV," said Michael Petrelis, who waged a one-man campaign in San Francisco this spring that persuaded the city to give away the Reality condom to gay men at public health clinics. "I am mos