ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) - A graphic safe sex pamphlet that recently almost made it into the hands of teens at a youth center in Roswell has prompted the state health department to denounce the brochure and order a thorough review of all brochures in state health clinics.
"We think that the materials that were given out were not appropriate," said Dr. Maggi Gallaher, acting director of the state's public health division. "For the age group that was going to be viewing it, (it) was not appropriate material."
The pamphlet contained graphic depictions of men engaged in sex acts as a way to demonstrate the best and most pleasurable methods to practice safe sex. It included tips on masturbation, oral sex and using food to complement sexual experiences.
"I think it's pornography," said Ron Biggers, a Roswell resident who became upset when he discovered the pamphlet had almost been handed out at the Roswell Job Corps Center. "If it was on the market it would be wrapped in a plastic wrapper and put 21 years and older and hidden in the back of a convenience store."
The Web site for the California-based company that designed the pamphlet makes it clear the brochure is intended for gay men. The back page of the brochure says it's part of the "Family Planning Program – Title X," which is a federally-funded program administered by the New Mexico Department of Health.
A public health contract worker asked officials at the Job Corps Center if she could distribute the pamphlet to clients aged 16 and up about a month ago, according to the center's health and wellness manager. But when she and the center's director took a look at the brochures, she said they immediately declined and got rid of them.
It is unclear how Biggers received a copy of the brochure.
When News 13 brought the pamphlet to the attention of state health department officials, they began an immediate internal investigation, Gallaher said. It turned out that a health department contract worker tried to include the pamphlet. The contract with that employee was terminated Friday.
The pamphlet was never actually distributed to teens. All the health pamphlets at the facility have been pulled so they can be reviewed, according to a Department of Health spokesperson.
Pamphlets and brochures are usually targeted for specific groups, Gallaher said.
"We want to make sure that all of the educational materials that we give out to our clients are appropriate," she said.
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