The winning entry of a Los Angeles County condom wrapper contest incorporates an understated image of a black bow tie with the words “Suit Up.”
More than 185,000 people voted on the design by Hollywood-based artist Adam Lyons.
True Beck, project manager with the L.A. County Dept of Public Health's Division of HIV and STD Program, said the wrapper beat out several other designs.
"We had one that was a beautiful drawing and it has different landmarks," she described. "I know that sounds crazy on the size of a condom, but it had Dodger Stadium and Hollywood. And we had one that’s a one-eyed monster. And we had another one that was the Hollywood sign, but it says ‘Condom’ instead of ‘Hollywood.’”
County public health officials launched the contest in May to promote safe sex practices with the hope of lowering the number of STD cases in Los Angeles.
Last year, Beck said, people in L.A. County reported more than 60,000 new cases of STDs. That includes over 47,000 cases of chlamadya, 9,500 cases of gonorrhea and about 1,800 new cases of syphilis. She said there are also about 2,000 new cases of HIV across the county, but those are difficult to count because many who are infected don't know it.
The top 10 entries of the "L.A's New Sex Symbol" contest, including the winner, will appear on a million condoms that the health department plans to distribute free throughout L.A. County in a few months. Generic ones are available in county clinics until then.