Today’s news:

Kew Gdns. man wins condom design contest

After tallying more than 15,000 online ballots, the city Health Department revealed this week that Kew Gardens resident Luis Acosta’s design will appear on millions of free condoms throughout New York City.

Acosta landed 23 percent of the vote for the simple red-and-yellow design the artist said symbolizes New Yorkers’ power to take control and practice safer sex.

The winning entry was part of the city’s condom package design contest that drew 600 entries from all five boroughs as well as countries from around the world.

“The NYC condom program is doing all of New York City a great service, and I’m very excited to be a part of it,” Acosta said. “I hope my package design reminds people that they’re in control. We all have the power to protect ourselves from sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS and unplanned pregnancies.”

A panel of local artists, advertising professionals and public health and social-marketing experts chose five finalists from the 600 entries, and the judges’ top picks were posted on the NYC Condom’s Facebook page and the Health Department’s Web site, where residents voted for their favorites.

Acosta’s design will appear on several million limited-edition city condom packages beginning this fall, city health officials said.

“The design contest was meant to draw attention to a very serious problem,” said city Health Commissioner Thomas Farley. “The HIV/AIDS epidemic is far from over in the city and sexually transmitted diseases continue to spread at high rates .%u2026 If you are having sex outside of a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner, you should use a condom — not just sometimes, every time.”

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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