07 Apr Condom
A condom can only reduce the risk of HIV transmission, but cannot eliminate that risk. An authoritative study in the US released in July 2001 showed that correct and consistent use of condoms was only 85% effective in preventing the transmission of HIV. This means that there is a failure rate of 15% for transmitting HIV.
The same study showed that the condom was ineffective in the prevention of many other sexually transmitted infections like genital herpes, syphilis, cancroids, and the human papilloma virus (HPV), the virus that causes genital warts and cancer of the cervix.
Why does the condom fail?
There are many reasons:
- Inherent flaws: Not all condoms on the market are as safe as some would like to believe. A batch of condoms can be passed for sale even if upto 3 in a thousand condoms tested in that batch are defective. In addition, between the time of production and the time of use, the condom is subjected to various environmental conditions that can cause its quality to be compromised.
- Breakage during use (ranging from 2.4% to 6.7%).
- Slippage during or after intercourse (3.4% to 13.1%).
- Improper use.
- Damage by fingernails, teeth or other sharp objects.
- Inadequate or inappropriate lubrication.