Condoms Are 91% Effective Against HIV
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 100% condom usage can lead to 91.6% effective in the prevention of HIV through anal sex, but we’re not so convinced.
This report comes from the combination of four major studies, which the CDC compiled themselves. Then after the CDC released their findings,AIDSMap first reported on the story.
These results are largely better than previous studies in 1989 and 2014, which found that condoms were only 70% effective at preventing the spread of HIV when engaging in anal sex.
AIDSMap hypothesizes that the change in these results is in part because of the grouping of multiple studies and not just one or two. In addition, the CDC thinks another reason for the difference is the fact that earlier researchers counted the number of sexual acts and not sexual partners.
“Counting the number of partners may be a more reliable guide to risk than counting sex acts. This is because in cases where there are multiple sex acts between one couple, the risk tends to go down with time: at least one early study showed an extremely high risk (about a 25% chance of infection) during the first year of exposure but then a considerable falling-off of risk; transmissions became infrequent after a few years. This may be due to variation in viral load: partners with high viral loads transmit in the first year, while those with low ones may never do.”
Unfortunately, there are problems with this report as NewNowNext points out.
First, people who are active in sex, especially gay men, do not use condoms during every sexual act. This is especially true with the rise of PrEP. In fact, a new study from last month showed that there is a decrease in condom use by gay and bisexual men because of the rise of PrEP.
While this data is good to note, it will need to be updated with the inclusion of PrEP’s influence before we can truly believe in it.
h/t: AIDSMap, NewNowNext, BusinessWire