The contraceptives will be handed out in beauty salons,
convenience stores and high schools in areas with high rates of HIV/Aids
Male condoms have long been handed out but infection rates remain high among
Washington's black residents.
Female condoms have been on sale since 1993 but take-up has been slow.
The initial version of the contraceptive was judged by US customers to be
However, a new version now being used in countries including South Africa,
Brazil, and Indonesia will be distributed in Washington DC and offered for
sale in pharmacies alongside male condoms.
"Anywhere male condoms are available, female condoms will be available,"
Shannon Hader, director of the city's HIV/AIDS administration, told the
"We're trying to make every effort count to build on what already exists...
to expand options rather than limit them."
HIV/Aids infection is the leading cause of death for black women aged 25-34
in the US.
A 2008 report showed Washington DC's HIV/Aids rate at 3%, or about 15,100
adults, the Post reported.