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Male and Female Condoms

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

Think safe sex means boring sex? Think again — especially if you make internal condoms part of your play kit. South Africa has one of the largest public-funded condom distribution programmes in the world — since 2018 the government has aimed to, each year, distribute 850 million male (external) condoms and 40 million internal (female) condoms to public health facilities.

May 17, 2022
Mail & Guardian

For the first time, US regulators have officially authorized a condom to be used for anal sex, not just vaginal sex. The decision, announced by the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday, has long been sought by sexual health experts, who said it could encourage more people who engage in anal sex to use condoms to protect themselves against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. The risk of sexually transmitted diseases is “significantly higher” during anal sex than vaginal sex, an FDA official said Wednesday.

February 23, 2022
New York Times
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