Safety and acceptability of the Reality condom for anal sex among men who have sex with men

AIDS. 2003 Mar 28;17(5):727-31. doi: 10.1097/00002030-200303280-00011.


Objectives: To assess safety and acceptability of Reality condoms for anal sex among men who have sex with men.

Methods: Crossover study among HIV-seroconcordant (33 HIV-negative and 5 HIV-positive) monogamous male couples, randomized to latex male and Reality condom use with anal sex.

Results: Slippage with removal was reported more frequently with Reality than male latex condoms [odds ratio (OR), 2.7; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.2-5.8 for receptive partners and OR, 34.1; 95% CI, 13.8-84.1 for insertive partners]. Receptive partners more frequently reported pain or discomfort (OR, 5.0; 95% CI, 2.6-9.4) and rectal bleeding (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 0.9-4.1) with Reality condoms than male condoms. Over 20% reported willingness to use the Reality condom in the future with a partner of unknown HIV status; willingness was associated with past problems with male condoms and no problems with Reality condoms among receptive partners, and with past use of Reality condoms and HIV seropositivity among insertive partners.

Conclusions: Men reported more frequent problems with Reality condoms than male latex condoms used for anal intercourse, particularly slippage, discomfort, and rectal bleeding. Design modifications, training, and research on the clinical significance of safety outcomes are needed for use of Reality condoms with anal sex.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Condoms* / adverse effects
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / injuries
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Proctitis / etiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rectum / injuries
  • Sexual Behavior*