Right before Christmas, Dallas County revealed that it just might consider lifting the condom distribution ban enacted in 1995, when then-County Commissioner Jim Jackson told The New York Times, "Sodomy is still against the law in Texas. I hear people say the government shouldn't be in the bedroom. This isn't just happening in the bedroom. You can see used condoms in the parks." Today, the Dallas County Commissioners Court will vote on rescinding the ban; Ken Mayfield, one of Jackson's allies in '95, says he has an alternative proposal.
Here you fill find Dallas County Health and Human Services director Zach Thompson's 23-page briefing prepared for this morning's meeting. In it, he writes:
There are an estimated 13,540 persons living with HIV/AIDS in Dallas County. The prevalence of persons living with HIV has increased by 34% over the last 5 years, mainly because persons with HIV disease are now living longer. ... Affected populations in Dallas continue to be predominantly in the gay community; however increasing rates of new infections are being observed in minority populations. This is reflective of a national trend where African Americans and Latinos are now bearing the heaviest burden in incidence rates.Thompson, who told the paper version of Unfair Park last month that "Condom distribution is not a silver bullet," is asking the commissioners to lift the distribution ban.
Update: By a vote of 3-2, the Dallas County Commissioners voted to allow the distribution of condoms again.