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County Searching for 'Next Sex Symbol'

Health officials hope L.A.'s Next Sex Symbol, a contest to design packaging for an official Los Angeles-branded condom, will increase condom use.

Los Angeles County health officials launched a contest Tuesday to find photos or artwork to be featured on packaging for an official Los Angeles-branded condom.

The top 10 designs chosen in the "L.A.'s Next Sex Symbol" contest will appear on 1 million condoms set for free distribution throughout the county by the end of the year. The contest is designed to increase condom use, drive awareness of HIV and STD prevention, and provide information about HIV/AIDS and STD treatment and care.

A complete list of rules, guidelines and ways to submit a design is online at www.LASexSymbol.com. The deadline is June 17.

An estimated 2,000 new HIV infections occur annually in L.A. County. Last year, the Department of Public Health reported more than 47,500 new cases of chlamydia, more than 9,500 new cases of gonorrhea and nearly 1,800 new cases of syphilis.

The top 50 designs will be chosen by Public Health's Division of HIV and STD Programs' community advisory board. From the top 50, the public will vote for the grand prize winner, runners-up and finalists. The winners, who will receive donated prizes, and will be announced June 27.

Design submissions cannot infringe on trademarks, including Los Angeles sports teams or famous landmarks such as the Hollywood sign or the City Hall building. Entries that are considered obscene or vulgar will also be disqualified.

To submit an idea for "L.A.'s Next Sex Symbol," entrants must be 18 years of age or older and live in Los Angeles County.

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