While scientists work to find the perfect solution to preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, a reasonable option--the female condom--is not being promoted, especially in African and southeast Asian countries where the deadly virus is most prevalent, according to a new study. "While were waiting for perfection, people are dying," said Dr. Amy Kaler, a sociology professor at the University of Alberta.
In a paper published in the November/December issue of Culture, Health & Sexuality, Kaler presents findings that show female condoms are being dismissed as a viable method of protection for a number of reasons, including cost and availability in developing nations, and, in North America, for esthetic reasons.
These attitudes have serious implications for developing the next generation of barrier methods, such as revamped diaphragms and cervical caps to reduce transmission of AIDS. "Female condoms, and female barrier methods in general, are a very important avenue of exploration for HIV protection that has been prematurely closed off," Kaler said.
Bev Betkowski | EurekAlert!
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