HIV awareness campaign reinstated — without Utah-themed condoms

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Department of Health is reinstating an HIV awareness campaign, but without condoms that riffed on Utah slogans and catch-phrases.

In a statement Tuesday, the agency said the decision to move forward with the campaign was made in consultation with Governor Gary Herbert's office. The governor objected to the campaign and the use of taxpayer money for "sexual innuendo."

The condoms featured Utah slogans and catch-phrases such as "Uintah Sex?" and "This is the Place" with a graphic of a bed. The condoms were praised by HIV and AIDS activists, who believed they were a clever way of getting people to talk about safer sex practices. Paid for by federal grant money, the state and local advocacy groups planned to distribute 100,000 of them.

Online, they became an instant hit. But the governor apparently didn't find them funny and they were pulled from distribution. A website, HIVandMe.com, was also taken down. It is now back up.

"With regard to the themed condoms, the UDOH is making a concerted effort to retrieve those which were provided to local partner agencies, and which had yet to be distributed to individuals at high-risk of contracting HIV," the agency's statement said.

The "wallets" with the Utah-themed sayings will be destroyed and the remaining condoms will be re-distributed, the health department said.

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