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It’s Gift-Wrapped Aids Group Hands Out Valentine’s Condoms

Will Cupid be displaced by a Trojan? Don’t giggle.

The North Idaho AIDS Coalition is hitting the bars tonight, spreading a little prevention for sexually transmitted diseases. Three-hundred lucky people will receive a baggie that includes three condoms and a bright pink piece of paper that reads: “When you give the gift of love, make sure it’s wrapped properly.”

The message goes on to advise: “To protect against AIDS and other STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) always use a latex condom.”

The special Valentine’s Day packages also include instructions on how to use the condoms and the business cards from the North Idaho AIDS Coalition, said Lori Lochelt, the organization’s sole paid employee.

This is, after all, National Condom Week. And Valentine’s Day also is National Condom Day.

Celebration aside, finding bars that were willing to have Cupid-a-la-latex so conspicuously passed around was difficult. Volunteers called area bars with the proposition and many weren’t that cooperative, she said.

To keep it simple, the staff at each of five saloons will deliver the special packages.

Why bars?

“We are trying to target one of the high-risk groups,” Lochelt said. “Basically people who drink are a high-risk group.”

Gay men in North Idaho are at the highest risk for contracting AIDS and HIV. But “that’s a hard group to target,’ she said. “They are in the woodwork.”

The coalition also made the decision to go to bars because “there are a lot of adults out there who don’t think they are at risk, who don’t think their behaviors put them at risk,” Lochelt said.

“Kids in North Idaho are more hip, frankly.”

, DataTimes

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