The real problem with male condoms is nonuse

Sex Transm Dis. 1999 Sep;26(8):459-62. doi: 10.1097/00007435-199909000-00007.


PIP: Male latex condoms are considered to be the most effective method in reducing the risk of sexually transmitted disease (STD) and HIV transmission if properly used during sexual intercourse. Several studies were documented citing the effectiveness of latex condoms. Although one study reported condom failure due to breakage and slippage, this does not put the user at risk of STD/HIV transmission, because such mechanical failure occurs before intercourse or during removal (nonclinical breakage and slippage). Most importantly, condom users who report more frequent condom breakage and slippage can be counseled to develop skills to avoid behaviors that may place them at increased risk. Aside from condom breakage and slippage, a possible explanation for the observed failure of condoms to protect against STD/HIV transmission is the respondent's behavior of not providing valid information about their consistency in use. Based on the studies conducted on STD/HIV transmission, a frequently listed cause of condom failure was the type of condom being used during sexual intercourse and the user's failure to properly use the condom.

Publication types

  • Comment
  • Editorial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Condoms / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Treatment Refusal*