Utah condom campaign halted over racy packaging

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Coloured condoms. File photo

Utah Governor Gary Herbert has halted the distribution of 100,000 condoms for free in the US state because of racy slogans on the packaging.

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”.

It was part of a campaign by the Utah department of health on HIV prevention and promotion of safe sex.

The department apologised for “the offensive packaging”.

The office of Mr Herbert, a Republican, said that he “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, and our office has asked the department to rework the campaign’s branding,” the statement added.

In response, the health department tweeted that “the designs did not go through necessary approval channels”, urging any organisation involved in the campaign to immediately stop distributing the condoms.

The department stressed that it remained committed to “running a campaign to help in the prevention of HIV” and intended to do so “in a manner that better respects taxpayer dollars”.

It had planned to distribute the condoms through a number of health centres in the western US state.

HIV is a virus that gradually destroys the immune system of the infected person.

Although medicines may help to reduce the symptoms, currently there is no cure.

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Media captionThe woman who was 17 years old when she was diagnosed with HIV

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