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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

When biomedical engineer Robert Gorkin saw the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s 2013 call for submissions for a next-generation condom, he was hardly a contraceptive innovator. Rather, his work focused on 3D-printing organs and prosthetics. But when he reviewed the initiative’s goals — funding would be awarded to applicants who proposed a pleasurable, easy-to-use condom, thus encouraging regular use worldwide — Gorkin, a research fellow at Australia’s University of Wollongong, saw an opportunity.

April 25, 2019
Rolling Stone
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