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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

Improved strategies are needed to educate women on the importance of safe sexual practices and condom negotiation. Healthcare providers should strive to have an open dialogue with patients about condom use, whether they engage in anal sex, and its risks.

December 13, 2019
PLoS One

Condoms are highly effective for HIV prevention, yet are not currently indicated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for anal sex. We surveyed a national sample of men who have sex with men to assess whether FDA label indication could affect anticipated condom use, and to determine levels of perceived condom failure for anal sex. We found that 69 percent of respondents anticipated that a label indication change would increase their likelihood of condom use. Median perceived failure was 15 percent.

October 15, 2019
Sexual Health
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