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Condoms: more choice does not equal more use.

Offering a greater variety of condom brands through public family planning programs may not increase men's condom use, according to a study conducted in 2002-2004 in Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. (1) In the pooled sample of 620 sexually active adult men who had access to 3-4 types of free condoms-including premium and local brands, as well as the standard brand provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development--the proportion of sexual acts with all partners reported as protected had increased by three percentage points (from 85% to 88%) by the end of the six-month study period. However, in the control sample of 611 similar men who had access to only the standard brand, the percentage of acts reported as protected increased by seven points over the same period (from 84% to 91%). The authors conclude that "the provision of one type of male condom in public sector programs appears justified," and that "programs should not locus on the number of brands available, but should encourage effective promotion of available brands together with emphasizing consistent and correct use."

(1.) Weaver MA el al., The effects of condom choice on self-reported condom use among men in Ghana. Kenya and South Africa: a randomized trial, Conniheption. 2011, 84(3):291-298.

Update is compiled and written by Jared Rosenberg, senior editor of International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.

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Title Annotation:UPDATE
Publication:International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health
Date:Dec 1, 2011
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