Utah Governor Gary Herbert has asked the state’s health department to remove the sexual innuendo from the free condoms it plans to distribute.
Governor Herbert has requested Utah’s Department of Health to take off the sexual innuendo from the free condoms it plans to distribute as part of an HIV prevention campaign.
According to the department, The condoms were packaged in small cardboard holders with “Utah specific euphemisms, or play on words” that refer the condom owner to the website HIVandMe.com.
It features phrases like “SL,UT”, a word play on Utah and its capital, Salt Lake City, “Enjoy Your Mountin” and “Explore Utah’s caves”.
Governor Herbert argued that since the condoms were funded by taxpayers, the department should change the branding and lose the “sexual innuendo.”
A statement from 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.”
The Department of Health issued an apology and admitted that the designs did not go through necessary approval channels and that they have asked their partners to halt distribution immediately.
In a press release, the department stated: “We remain committed to running a campaign to help in the prevention of HIV and intend to do so in a manner that better respects taxpayer dollars, and our role as a government agency.”
The condoms were supposed to be distributed for free through local health departments, the Utah AIDS foundation, bars and other places in the community alongside a larger “H is for Human” campaign that will appear on billboards, transit and TV ads to encourage testing and prevention.
Human immunodeficiency virus or HIV is a virus that gradually destroys the immune system of the infected person and although modern medicine may help to reduce the symptoms, there is currently no cure for HIV.