Advertisement
Advertisement

Spotlight Center on HIV Prevention Today

News

How Well Do Condoms Protect Gay Men From HIV?

October 17, 2016

With all the news and research related to PrEP these days, it's almost easy for gay men to forget about condoms for HIV prevention. I'm here to offer a gentle reminder: Let's not throw condoms out with the bath water! They still have a role to play in protecting the sexual health of gay men -- since they can protect against STIs in addition to HIV.

In laboratory testing, condoms used perfectly according to directions should be 99.5% effective against HIV with only mechanical failure (i.e. breakage) resulting in infections. Since we are human and tend to not have laboratory-style sex, how well do they actually work in reality to prevent HIV for gay men? It's a question I get from time to time at the clinic -- and I can tell you, the effectiveness is different for gay men than it is for people having penis/vagina sex. Here's what the research tells us.

First -- a quick note about where the data in this article are coming from. In 2015, Dawn Smith, M.D., M.S., M.P.H., and colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control published an article in JAIDS analyzing condom effectiveness data for men who have sex with men. In their sample, they included data from two big studies: VAX 004 (4,492 men) and EXPLORE (3,233 men). These studies were conducted in the late 1990s/early 2000s (i.e., before PrEP). Both of these studies included HIV-negative men who reported having sex with an HIV-positive partner.

This excerpt was cross-posted with the permission of BETAblog.org. Read the full article.


Related Stories

Despite Male Youth's Similar Sexual Behaviors, MSM Have a Significantly Higher Risk of Acquiring HIV
Antiretroviral Therapy Not Linked to Condomless Sex in Large UK Study




No comments have been made.
 

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read TheBody.com's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:


Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:

Advertisement

The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our content and advertising policies.