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These can be done in individuals whose characteristics are known and can be controlled for, and if the relationship truly is monogamous then infections by acute STIs and from outsiders can be ruled out.One disadvantage is that condom use in long-term relationships, even in serodiscordant couples, is relatively rare.For these reasons, HIV transmission within long-term serodiscordant relationships, especially heterosexual ones, may be rarer than it is between casual sex partners.For all these reasons, large studies may be needed to establish differences in HIV (and HSV and HPV) incidence between condom users and non-users.The main findings of studies we look at in more detail below are as follows: These degrees of protection may be lower than some readers expect, and rates of 98% reliability are still sometimes quoted for condoms.These are based upon observations of their use in contraception: studies have shown that 98% of women relying on condoms as their sole form of contraception remain pregnancy free if condoms are used perfectly, meaning that they are used consistently and correctly at every act of sexual intercourse.
It would be unethical to mount a randomised trial of condom use because the control group would have to stop using them altogether.These margins of uncertainty...should represent an obligation on the part of the health ministries and all these campaigns to act in the same way as they do with regard to cigarettes, which they state to be a danger." Finding out the degree to which condoms protect against HIV is important both for HIV-negative people who want to protect themselves against HIV, and HIV-positive people who want to avoid transmitting it.Knowing how well they protect against other STIs is important for sexual health in general and may be particularly important for people with HIV, who may be more vulnerable to the effects of certain STIs.One widely quoted remark of this nature came from Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni who, at the Fifteenth International AIDS Conference in Bangkok in 2004, advocated for HIV prevention based on “optimal relationships based on love and trust instead of institutionalised mistrust, which is what the condom is all about…I think of condoms as an improvisation, not a solution”.
(See the text of Museveni’s speech.) Museveni later complained of being misunderstood and signed an article in The Lancet saying that condoms formed a valuable part of HIV prevention.
Consistently used condoms provide significant protection against HIV, pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).