The Female Health Company is the only condom manufacturer represented in the ILF

CHICAGO, Feb. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Female Health Company (NASDAQ - CM: FHCO), which manufactures the world's leading female condom, today announced its corporate partnership with the International AIDS Society's Industry Liaison Forum (ILF). The Female Health Company, the only HIV prevention technology company represented in the ILF, will work alongside preeminent thought leaders, research and academic institutions, and pharmaceutical companies in setting the tone for the next generation's response to the global HIV epidemic.

Due to the acute nature of the HIV epidemic, emphasis has historically focused on disease treatment options. Now that symptoms of the disease can be moderated by drug therapies, the world looks to prevention technologies to stem the tide of new infections. The female condom is the only available female-controlled method of protection from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, and unplanned pregnancy. It brings empowerment and choice to women, who can better negotiate safer sex and take charge of protecting their own health. It is a vital, cost-effective and highly efficacious way to stem the epidemic of HIV and other STIs.

HIV has taken a heavy toll on women. In the U.S., AIDS diagnoses among women have tripled since 1985, with the vast majority (84%) of such infections contracted through heterosexual sex. Around the globe, women are at least twice as likely to acquire HIV from men during sexual intercourse as vice versa. For women in their reproductive years (18-49), HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death.

"The nation and the world are becoming more aware of the health benefits, healthcare system savings, and personal empowerment provided by the female condom," stated Karen King, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Female Health Company. "Additionally, there is a strong business case surrounding the cost effectiveness of female condoms for the prevention of HIV infections, relative to more expensive treatment modalities. A study conducted at Johns Hopkins University revealed that every dollar spent on prevention saves the healthcare system $20 in treatment costs. Even in some developing nations, where antiretroviral drugs are less costly, the savings can be as high as 3-to-1. Amid a climate of growing awareness and demand, along with greater availability -- thanks to the tremendous accomplishments of the advocates, public health clinics, health agencies and NGOs with which we partner -- the time is right for a closer look at the benefits of the FC2 female condom. We are honored to add our voice to the important work being done by the IAS through the ILF."

"The International AIDS Society is delighted to welcome the Female Health Company to the Industry Liaison Forum," stated Owen Ryan, Executive Director of the IAS. "FHC is the first prevention device manufacturer to partner with the ILF - a vitally important milestone for us as we work to diversify ILF membership to include the full breadth of industry representation in the response to HIV."

The ILF is a mechanism to constructively engage all stakeholders on issues in line with IAS Member Priorities. It is designed to take advantage of the IAS's key strengths: its well-respected convening power; its acknowledged independence towards industry and other key stakeholders; and its diverse working groups composed of some of the world's top thought leaders and scientific experts in a wide array of fields. The work of the ILF is guided by a strong, multi-stakeholder advisory group and aims to enhance the impact of the global response to HIV and related co-morbidities. FHC is now part of this advisory group.

FC2, manufactured by The Female Health Company, is the only female condom in the world with U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval and clearance from the World Health Organization (WHO).

About The Female Health Company

The Female Health Company, based in Chicago, Illinois, manufactures and markets the FC2 Female Condom® (FC2). Since the Company began distributing FC2 in 2007, the product has been shipped to 144 countries. The Company owns certain worldwide rights to the FC2 Female Condom®, including patents that have been issued in a number of countries around the world. The patents cover key aspects of FC2, including its overall design and manufacturing process. The FC2 Female Condom® is the only currently available female-controlled product approved by FDA that offers dual protection against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and unintended pregnancy. The WHO has cleared FC2 for purchase by U.N. agencies.

About the International AIDS Society

The International AIDS Society is the world's largest independent association of HIV professionals. IAS members include researchers, clinicians, public health practitioners, civil society activists, lawyers, journalists, and policymakers among others. The IAS's work is focused on identifying gaps in the response to HIV globally and leveraging its membership base to bring attention to evidence-based solutions to them. The IAS Member Priorities are Towards an HIV Cure, the Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research, Key Populations and HIV Co-Infections. The IAS believes that education, networking and the promotion of best practice are essential to enhancing the response to HIV. To further this goal, the IAS publishes the Journal of the International AIDS Society and hosts the Industry Liaison Forum. In partnership with other global actors, the IAS convenes two conferences (the International AIDS Conference and the IAS Conference on Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention) which provide opportunities to share knowledge and experience as well as build on the expertise of professionals working in HIV.

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SOURCE The Female Health Company

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