Are condoms the answer to rising rates of non-HIV sexually transmitted infection?
Consistent condom use can reduce the spread of HIV, and Markus Steiner and Willard Cates believe condoms are the answer to other sexually transmitted infections. But Stephen Genuis argues that a more comprehensive approach is needed
- By: Markus J Steiner, Willard Cates, Stephen J Genuis
YES Condoms can and should play a central role in halting the rising rates of sexually transmitted infection other than HIV. For people who are sexually active, condoms remain our best solution to reducing risks of acquiring sexually transmitted infections (if uninfected) or transmitting these infections (if infected). Strong evidence from laboratory studies and mounting clinical studies shows that condoms effectively reduce the risk of transmission. In addition, for specific populations, increased levels of condom use have been associated with decreases in reported sexually transmitted infections.
Condoms protect the wearer and his partner from infection by covering the penile glans and shaft, which are the major portals of entry and exit of sexually transmitted pathogens. Laboratory studies indicate that latex condoms are an effective physical barrier against passage of even the smallest sexually transmitted pathogens.1
When placed on the penis before any genital contact and used throughout intercourse, the condom