Commentary: the new female condom--item 1 on a women's AIDS prevention agenda

Am J Public Health. 1993 Apr;83(4):498-500. doi: 10.2105/ajph.83.4.498.


A US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel has recommended that the female condom Reality be approved for contraception and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) prevention. Final FDA approval will mark the first official recognition of a woman-controlled method for protection against sexually transmitted disease. A female condom allows women to use just one method to respond to the twin anxieties of AIDS and unwanted pregnancy. In those couples in which the man refuses to wear a male condom, the availability of a female condom makes protection possible for the first time. Although the female condom has some advantages over the male condom--greater comfort for some women and men and nonreliance on male arousal--general population experience with the device is needed to achieve regular widespread use and hence effectiveness at population levels. The FDA still lags behind in responding to women's needs for information on AIDS and sexually transmitted disease.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Adult
  • Condoms / economics
  • Condoms / standards*
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data
  • Equipment Design / standards
  • Female
  • Health Education / methods
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Negotiating
  • Power, Psychological
  • Sexual Partners / psychology
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration
  • Women's Health*