alt

impact
CDC: Condoms 91% Effective at Preventing HIV Transmission Through Anal Sex

Condoms are more effective than previously thought at preventing HIV transmission among gay and bisexual men who have anal sex, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Aidsmap reports that a new study published in the medical journal AIDS shows that, when used 100% of the time, condoms prevent more than nine out of 10 HIV infections. This number is much higher than previous CDC studies. One 2014 study found that, when used all the time, condoms only stopped infections around seven out of 10 times.

What’s behind the uptick? Researchers said that, rather than looking at the risk per sex act, they looked at the efficacy of a condom per number of partners. Basically, the thought was that for HIV-negative men who consistently have sex with only one partner, the risk would remain relatively low, as opposed to a someone who might encounter sex with someone with a high viral load as they encounter more sexual partners.

The analysis that led to this number looked at condom efficacy among gay and bisexual men in four different studies — all from before 2005. Researchers looked at older studies because current studies had far too many undetectable partners. Because these partners’ viral loads were undetectable, they were uninfectious.

Of course, all of these studies are before the advent of Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis, which the FDA approved for use to prevent HIV transmission in 2012. For people who take Truvada every day, studies have shown that the risk of acquiring HIV is near zero.

One of the caveats about this study is that the number presented — 92% — is for people who have 100% consistent condom use, which is something very few people, gay or straight, actually have.

Of course, there’s no reason to shame those who cannot or do not use condoms. Studies have shown that a desire for more intimacy between partners is one reason people forgo condom use. Desire for intimacy is also a major factor in why people choose to take PrEP.


Mathew Rodriguez

Mathew is a staff writer at INTO. His work has appeared in Mic, Slate and Complex. He loves "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," Flannery O'Connor and female rappers and is working on a memoir.

twitter

in case you missed it

culture

How Stan Lee Inspired One Trans Woman To Open A Queer Comic Book Shop and Cafe

Lara Americo

As a TEDx speaker, voice of the ACLU’s Change.org campaign and contributor to The Washington PostNPRRolling Stone and Democracy Now!, Lara Americo talks about social justice for queer and trans people of color. She’s the founder of the nonprofit Comic Girl Coffee + Books, an inclusive safe space for queer and transgender people located in Charlotte, NC.

you

Dearly Beloved, I Want To Date My Co-Worker

Michael Arceneaux

Michael Arceneaux writes the “Dearly Beloved” advice column at INTO. He is the author of the forthcoming book I Can't Date Jesus from Atria Books/Simon & Schuster. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Essence, The Guardian, Mic, and more.

twitter