Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Condoms at DSHS

Well, not exactly at DSHS. On their new website.

I was looking to see what educational resources related to condoms were still available on the HIV/STD program's new website--and couldn't find it! Naturally, I couldn't stop myself from being just a tad . . . well . . . paranoid about the possibility of the change from one web address to another being used as an opportunity to scrub some things from the website. Condoms have been a central battleground, so to speak, in the culture wars. As I recall, there had been some rather useful information about condoms on the old website. Did it make it to the new one?

Most of it did indeed make it, but finding it takes some effort. The obvious place to look is under Publications and from there under "Publications and Brochures." That will net you references to two brochures: (6-23) "How to Use a Condom" and its Spanish companion (6-23a). The asterisk after each, however, asserts that you must be a "professional" in order to order the brochure. (I'm pretty sure that the humor was unintended.)

I had to have help from a DSHS employee to find the next links. A search of the site assured me that two fact sheets on condoms did in fact exist on the site, but where were they? How would a member of the public find them? With a little help, we managed to locate them in the section: "What are HIV and STDs?" Under the heading: "Information about STD transmssion (sic) and testing." Not under "Information about HIV transmission and testing." And not under anything that would point you to the concept of prevention.

I suspect that there will be some reworking of the new site so that things are easier to find, especially for the general public looking for prevention information. I'm also thinking it may be time to mirror some of these things on Texas AIDS Net . . .

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