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Frenkel in Uganda. (L./Facebook)

Safe sex

How Talia Frenkel is revolutionizing the condom

By WITW Staff on February 4, 2016

HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death for women around the world, and in developing countries, unsafe sex is the primary risk factor for the disease. Talia Frenkel witnessed the toll of HIV/AIDS while she was working as a photojournalist for the Red Cross and the United Nations, traveling to areas where access to condoms is limited. And so in 2011, Frenkel launched a revolutionary condom brand called “L.”  Speaking to The Oprah Magazine, Frenkel described L’s activist-minded business model: “For every condom sold — they’re available online and at stores like CVS and Target — another is donated to a female entrepreneur in a developing country. So far, we’re partnered with more than 2,800 women in Swaziland and Uganda.”

To make the condom more appealing to use, L processes its latex in a way that reduces the rubbery scent and allergy-causing proteins. The company also eschewed the sort of hyper-masculine branding that can be found on most condom packets, opting instead for gender-neutral designs. The response, Frenkel said, has been overwhelmingly positive. “When women tell us, ‘Thank you for being a form of birth control that won’t make me crazy with hormones,’ that feels great because our customers are our biggest ambassadors. We get a lot of emails with exclamation points.”

Read the Huffington Post.