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[Opinion] The Clinton Condom

Posted September. 23, 2005 07:33,   


Boris Yeltsin once made an urgent phone call to U.S. President Bill Clinton, informing his counterpart of a recent condom factory explosion, and said, “If the Russian population increases explosively, it can be a hazard to the United States’ security”. Clinton willingly agreed to Yeltsin’s aid request of one million condoms. Yeltsin then said that condoms nine inches long (22.5 centimeters) and three inches in diameters (7.5 centimeters) would be considered medium sized in Russia. Clinton requested that the condom manufacturer Trojan send the one million condoms right away, but added, “Print ‘Made in U.S.A. Small Size’ on each packet.”

Of course the above story is a joke, but in truth, Clinton has been very active in AIDS prevention campaigns after retiring from the presidency of the U.S. At the International AIDS Conference held in Barcelona, Spain in December 2002, Clinton joked “Sporting goods manufacturer Nike would succeed greatly if it were to jump into the condom market and change its boomerang logo to a condom shape.” He has also campaigned to raise awareness of AIDS in China.

A condom manufacturer in Guangzhou, China has began manufacturing “Clinton and Lewinsky Condoms” after registering them as trademarks. It does not seem likely that Clinton will sue the company for using his surname on a rubber product that will prevent AIDS. Moreover, China is well known for trademark infringement issues. However, the “Lewinsky Condom” was a step too far. If this is the case, “Clinton Cigars” may be next on the list in China.

The Bush administration’s AIDS policy can be summarized as “ABC”: Abstinence (A), Be faithful (B), and Condoms (C). Senator Hilary Clinton has criticized that the administration’s AIDS policy has lost balance as it stressed “A” more than “C”.

Despite the fact that her husband has become the first former U.S. president to have a condom line named after him, Senator Hilary Clinton has yet to comment on her husband’s “achievement.”

Hwang Ho-taek, Editorial Writer, hthwang@donga.com