Condoms are an essential part of HIV and STD prevention. Consistent and correct use of latex condoms reduces the risk of transmitting HIV (by up to 95%) and is associated with lower rates of gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and genital herpes.

Currently, there are approximately 50,000 new HIV infections and over 19 million new STD infections every year in the United States. If more Americans had access to condoms, these rates would plummet. In addition, increasing access to condoms will save the U.S. up to $17 billion in annual HIV and STD related health care costs. The lifetime cost of a single HIV infection alone is over $600,000, enough to buy 15 million condoms.

Too Few People Have Reliable And Affordable Access To Condoms

According the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, less than 50% of men and women ages 18-24 reported using condoms during their previous sexual encounters.  For men and women ages 25-34, the rate of condom use was less than 30%. Condoms are produced for less than $0.04 apiece, yet Walgreens and other retailers markup the price to over $1.00 (generating a 96% profit).   While this is affordable for many individuals, the high markup is too expensive for low income individuals and local health clinics.  

Walgreens Prices vs. Manufacturer Cost:

What Walgreens charges vs. what they pay to Manufacturer and the profit markup

Walgreens    Manufacturer    Markup %

3 Pack -Trojan Condoms

$5.99             $0.12                 4,891%  

12 Pack -Trojan Condoms

$13.49           $0.48                 2,710%

36 Pack -Trojan Condoms      

$21.99           $1.44                 1,427%

In Order To Protect The Public Health, Condoms Need To be Made Available At An Extremely Low Cost

Access to a preventive tool that can stop HIV, STDs, and unplanned pregnancies should not be a luxury.  AHF calls on Walgreens and other retailers to achieve a $0.25 retail price per condom. These companies can easily achieve this goal and still make a huge profit on each condom they sell. 

In addition, local governments and health departments should increase funding to provide condoms in all health centers. States spend billions on care for sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies, yet are not willing to provide the condoms that would prevent these occurrences in the first place. 

Visit to learn more and take action

National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, University of Indiana School of Health.

Cost as a barrier to condom use: the evidence for condom subsidies in the United States. Am J Public Health. 1999 Apr;89(4):567-8.

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