HIV/AIDS / Travel

Traveling to Chicago with Condoms? Think again.

I was organizing a benefit campaign for an AIDS orphans foundation. 

Our first benefit was launched in DC with Congressman Jim Leach (R-Iowa) (retired now) as our keynote speaker.  Since he was the initiator for what was to become known as PEPFAR – this was an important first step. 

In addition to Albert Uster Imports – our key sponsor for whom made the benefits possible and a reality – several companies provided in-kind donations and/ cash. 

Typically, pharmaceutical companies would have been the lead sponsors but I thought for once I want to see the condom representatives.  If you think about it – prevention with a condom is inexpensive and effective.  Better this conversation than how to manage a chronic condition with meds.  But after all is said and done … condoms are good things especially when talking about HIV/AIDS prevention.

In my determination and persistence, I called every number possible for Church & Dwight, the manufacturers of Arm & Hammer baking soda and Trojan condoms. 

No response at all.  Until one day the mailman pounded on my door and left a package propped up against my door.  When I opened the door, this huge box fell on my feet.

I wasn’t expecting anything but my curiosity got the better of me and so I immediately opened the box to find 500 individually wrapped condoms.  Bingo! 

I packed them into my carry on bag (prayed I wouldn’t be pulled over by security) and left for Chicago for our second AIDS orphans benefit.

The Chicago benefit was beautiful.  The guests were fashionable trendy professionals from the city to support the cause and enjoy the evening.  The fashion show of models draped in chocolate was stunning, the pastry chef stations were delightful and the silent auction items were a blessing.  But, nowhere to be found were the carefully transported condoms until the end of the evening when they were pulled out from underneath a table with the comment … “this wasn’t the appropriate crowd to hand out condoms.”

Question: Who is the appropriate person to give a condom to?



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