In certain CVS stores across the country, condoms are locked behind glass cases. To buy condoms at these stores, shoppers must request assistance from a CVS clerk, who will monitor the shopper's selection and then lock the case behind them.
Public health advocates have criticized CVS's locked condom cases, saying they create a barrier which could decrease condom use. But even more worrisome than the retailer's practice of locking condoms is where those locked cases are located: locked condoms have been found disproportionately in minority areas.
CVS's decision to lock condom cases in minority communities is particularly troubling: HIV/AIDS is the #1 killer of black American women between 25 and 34, and the rate of new HIV infections among Latinos is 3 times the rate of whites.
Despite this, at CVS stores surveyed in a number of cities across the country, CVS was at least 3 times more likely to lock condoms in communities of color than in majority white areas. This practice is discriminatory and could threaten the public health.
Walgreens and Rite-Aid prohibit condom lock-up, perhaps it's time CVS did the same.