According to a study published in the journal of AIDS and Behavior, the program prevented twenty-three HIV infections. The study authors believe it’s important that women have access to HIV prevention that is entirely under their control, and female condoms are the only item on the market that allow such control. But whether or not women will actually use female condoms is still tough to determine. Are women really ready to change their familiar form of contraception to something they don’t even know how to use?
Invented thirty years ago by a Danish doctor, the female condom has never quite caught on in American culture. However, prostitutes in countries such as Brazil, Europe, South Africa, and Zimbabwe often use them.
Of the SMU females we spoke to, many were quite skeptical about whether or not they would ever use a female condom.
One said, “The idea of a female condom completely freaks me out. I do not want to imagine how that even works.”
Another said, “That seems like a lot of unnecessary work when you can just take a pill. Plus, I’m not sure I even want to know how a female condom is used.”
The majority of girls interviewed about the female condom were opposed to even trying it. Not one interviewee claimed they had used a female condom. Perhaps if the female condom were to become the Tory Burch of contraception, women would be more open-minded to the idea.
The female condom program began two years ago with aims to combat an epidemic disease. Three percent of Washington residents suffer from HIV or AIDS. The female condom is a way to give women more power to protect themselves from these sexually transmitted diseases, especially when they are unable to get their male partners to use condoms. Twenty-three HIV infections prevented by the female condom in the first year of the program may not seem monumental, but costs pile quickly. The lifetime HIV medical-care cost is $367,134. By preventing those 23 cases of infections, eight million dollars is saved, even after deducting the cost of the female condom program.
The female condom may be a strange and unfamiliar option as a method of contraception to women now, but in ten years if the proper promotion and education is put into place, who knows? It could very well end up being the society “norm.” What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.
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