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PATF, police reach accord: outreach efforts resume in park

The Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force has resumed outreach efforts on Prospect Drive in Schenley Park. The agency’s outreach efforts, which include the distribution of safer-sex kits containing condoms, lubricant and HIV risk-reduction information, were suspended this summer after Pittsburgh Police questioned the legality of conducting outreach in a public park.

As part of an agreement reached between the PATF and the Pittsburgh Police in Zone 6, PATF staff and volunteers will wear identification badges while conducting outreach in the park and will help keep the park clean by disposing of used condoms and lubricant containers.

In meetings between the PATF and Pittsburgh Police, Zone 6 Commander Edward Kelly stressed that the presence of used condoms and lubricant containers in the park serve as evidence of illicit sexual activity.

A report on a WTAE-TV newscast in May showed discarded condoms and lubricant containers in the woods surrounding Prospect Drive and led to increased police presence in the area in an attempt to prevent sexual activity from taking place there.