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Table of Contents
Sexual Health

Sexual Health

Volume 9 Number 1 2012

Condom Use to Prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections: A Global Perspective

SH11111 Condom use: still a sexual health staple

Richard A. Crosby and Willard Cates
pp. 1-3

This article introduces and summarizes the contents of this special edition. Given the exceptional potential of condoms to avert epidemics of sexually transmitted infections and teen or unintended pregnancy – even in low-resource environments – this in-depth examination of current knowledge, practice, and issues with condoms and their use is an important asset for educators and practitioners worldwide.

SH11036 Condom effectiveness: where are we now?

Richard Crosby and Sarah Bounse
pp. 10-17

Although several forms of inherent bias create underestimates of condom effectiveness, a review of prospective studies suggests that a high degree of protection against most sexually transmissible infections is provided through the consistent and correct use of condoms. Improved studies should focus on several key issues, including those relevant to the selection of a recall period, improved precision of self-reported measures, and accounting for condom use errors and problems.

SH11037 A review of the effectiveness and acceptability of the female condom for dual protection

Maria F. Gallo, Maggie Kilbourne-Brook and Patricia S. Coffey
pp. 18-26

The authors reviewed data on the effectiveness and acceptability of the female condom for protection against pregnancy and sexually transmissible infections (STIs), including HIV. The data available suggest that female condoms (or a mixture of female and male condoms) may provide similar degrees of protection against pregnancy and STIs as do latex male condoms alone; however, this conclusion has not been demonstrated and thus comparative research is urgently needed..

SH11021 Condom use in China: prevalence, policies, issues and barriers

Huachun Zou, Hui Xue, Xiaofang Wang and Damien Lu
pp. 27-33

In this article we review condom use in China, with a focus on the populations that are at high risk for HIV/sexually transmissible infection. We also review policies related to condom promotion and the challenges facing this endeavour and tend to provide recommendations to promoting condom use in China.


This review article summarizes findings of sexual behavior research studies recently carried out in central and eastern Europe. This world region has seen one of the most rapidly increasing HIV epidemics, which coincided with fundamental political, economic, and social transformations. Studies of injection drug users, commercial sex workers, men who have sex with men, adolescents and young adults all reported inconsistent condom use. Risk behavior patterns are discussed, and public health recommendations are being suggested.

SH10165 Condom social marketing in sub-Saharan Africa and the Total Market Approach

Steven Chapman, Krishna Jafa, Kim Longfield, Nadja Vielot, Justin Buszin, Lek Ngamkitpaiboon and Megan Kays
pp. 44-50

Condom social marketing interventions deliver risk reduction messages and about one-quarter of all condoms used worldwide. The primary challenge today is for social marketing agencies and their stakeholders, public and commercial sector supply sources, to collaborate to achieve universal coverage of condoms among the vulnerable while increasing cost-effectiveness and equity..

SH11011 Progress and challenges to male and female condom use in South Africa

Mags E. Beksinska, Jennifer A. Smit and Joanne E. Mantell
pp. 51-58

In South Africa male condoms are available widely in the public, social marketing and the private sectors. The female condom program is well-established. Increasing condom use rates at last sex are reported; however, inconsistent and incorrect use are major challenges impeding the condom program’s success. This article reviews current condom guidelines, policies, distribution and uptake. We discuss the main challenges to condom use, including both user and service-related issues.

SH11033 Condoms in sub-Saharan Africa

Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale
pp. 59-72

This paper synthesizes published research on condom use in sub-Saharan Africa. The literature supports a conclusion that the complexity of social and interpersonal dynamics within structural and cultural conditions creates barriers to condom use. Yet, trends towards increased use are also evidenced among single women and university students as well as the success of select interventions in some regions.

SH11004 Dual use of condoms and contraceptives in the USA

Jenny A. Higgins and Anne D. Cooper
pp. 73-80

The use of condoms in conjunction with other contraceptive methods has substantial benefits for both pregnancy prevention and STI prevention, but rates of dual method use in the USA are comparatively low. This article reviews the literature on trends and covariates of dual method use in the USA, identifying those factors most strongly associated with dual method use and identifying key areas for future research and interventions.

SH11095 Condom use errors and problems: a global view

Stephanie A. Sanders, William L. Yarber, Erin L. Kaufman, Richard A. Crosby, Cynthia A. Graham and Robin R. Milhausen
pp. 81-95

This review finds condom use errors and problems are common worldwide, occurring across a wide spectrum of populations. Breakage and slippage were the most commonly investigated, but other more prevalent and correctable errors and problems: 1) may contribute to condom breakage and slippage outcomes or; 2) may themselves represent a more likely threat of exposure to sperm or pathogens than those resulting from breakage and slippage.


Condom migration, the common practice of couples abandoning condom use after adopting a similar protective behavior, continues to undermine innovations in HIV preventions. This article reviews studies investigating migration from one contraceptive method to another contraceptive and studies investigating migration from one disease prevention method to another. The results provide an updated review of condom migration as a means of highlighting methodological issues for future studies of this behavioural issue.


Although historically, sexuality-related issues have received little systematic attention in the field of public health, researchers are now paying more attention to the role of pleasure and sexual arousal in condom use. In this commentary, it is argued that a better integration of findings from the area of sex research into the HIV and sexually transmissible infection (STI) field is needed to develop and improve programs to reduce the risk of STIs and unintended pregnancy.

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