Were you aware the FDA classifies male condoms as a more favorable health device than internal condoms, traditionally known as “female condoms?” While women continue to overcome systemic barriers society set, another area where challenges remain is healthcare – especially concerning tools available to empower women.
After years of advocates lobbying, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now considering a rule change on how the “female” condom is classified by the FDA. The National Female Condom Coalition (NFCC) is advocating that it be changed from a Class 3 medical device to a Class 2, the same class as the male condom, which requires less research, testing, and development.
The current classification is crippling the female condom industry, but a reclassification provides opportunity for the research and implementation of new and developing products to enter the U.S. that are already recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and on the market in other countries (such as Africa, Brazil, and throughout Europe).
NFCC is also aiming for the device to be renamed as the “internal condom.” The hope is that by changing its name, the indication of the device’s use would be broadened to include anal sex, automatically expanding how it can be used by different populations – a huge win in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Now that there’s some movement for the rule to be adapted, the FDA’s Subcommittee on Medical Devises is accepting public comment until Feb. 2, which will be considered during their deliberation. Advocates are asking the public to submit their own comments, which can come from individuals, organizations, healthcare professionals, advocates, women’s health/family planning experts, the general public, or anyone interested in the discussion. Specific ways individuals can help are outlined here: nationalfccoalition.org/fda-campaign
Gay History Serial Podcast Debuts
Mattachine, a ten-episode serialized show available free on iTunes January 4, 2018, follows the true story of the secret Mattachine organization that catalyzed the American LGBTQ rights movement in 1950. From a spark of inspiration in 1920s Chicago, through secret speakeasy-style meetings that brought together anonymous homosexuals, the program will open FBI case files to journey through McCarthy-era paranoia and the witch hunt that pulled the communist queer activists apart, scattering the seeds of the movement. Produced and hosted by Devlyn Camp with editorial advising from Paul Di Ciccio and Chicago theatre critic Albert Williams, Mattachine aims to entertain and educate an audience about our vast history and the strength of our community during a time of new political resistance. Listeners may hear the first episode and subscribe now on iTunes or other podcast-playing apps. New episodes are released every Thursday.
Political and social history have been intertwined with queer history, though our stories are overlooked by all history classes in public schools. With the assistance of voice actors and interviews with Mattachine founder Harry Hay courtesy of the ONE Archives at the University of Southern California Library, Mattachine brings the stories of these activists back to life in order to uncover nuanced issues the LGBTQ community still struggles with today: internalized homophobia, misogyny, political pressure, anonymity, and assimilation. Listeners may find that the study of history is preparation for the work ahead.
Devlyn Camp is a television writing and production graduate of Columbia College Chicago. They have studied under Albert Williams, whose guidance and stories as a longtime activist in the gay community inspired Camp’s passion for queer theory and history. Williams also advises on this project. Follow the show on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @mattachinefiles, and explore resources and other details at mattachinepod.com.
P&E - After Print
Here are some of the latest articles and topics in the GLBT community.