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Condoms, Male and Female

Affordable, accessible male and female condoms are fundamental to HIV prevention.

Condoms continue to be an important element of any comprehensive HIV prevention strategy. If used consistently and correctly, they can be up to 96 percent effective in protecting against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. They are available without a prescription and can be obtained at a variety of outlets (health centers, drug stores, vending machines, doctor’s office, etc.) at little to no cost.

Although both types of condoms usually require some level of partner cooperation, the female condom may provide women with a greater degree of freedom to engage in safer sex. Since the female condom is worn by the woman and can be inserted prior to sexual activity without the male partner being aware that it is in place, women do not have to negotiate its use.

What We're Reading

The female condom will no longer be available in pharmacy aisles in the United States. The company that makes the product is moving to a prescription distribution model, hoping to take advantage of the birth control benefits under the Affordable Care Act. Advocates worry this could leave the uninsured with no access to the condom.

June 9, 2017 offered this coverage of a robust debate among health professionals about the value of condoms in the era of PrEP.

October 28, 2016
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