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These margins of uncertainty...should represent an obligation on the part of the health ministries and all these campaigns to act in the same way as they do with regard to cigarettes, which they state to be a danger." Finding out the degree to which condoms protect against HIV is important both for HIV-negative people who want to protect themselves against HIV, and HIV-positive people who want to avoid transmitting it.Knowing how well they protect against other STIs is important for sexual health in general and may be particularly important for people with HIV, who may be more vulnerable to the effects of certain STIs.
Condoms are, however, the only method on that list that has been shown to protect against STIs as well as pregnancy.
Another is that the HIV-positive partner will be chronically infected and so will not have the very high viral load characteristic of acute HIV infection.
Thirdly, in long-term serodiscordant relationships, studies have shown that the HIV-negative partner can acquire a degree of immunity to their partner’s HIV.
Research early on in the epidemic showed that 40 to 70% of men who claimed they use condoms 100% of the time in fact did not use them for every act of intercourse.
Twenty years later, 51 to 66% of women taking part in a microbicide study reported 100% condom usage at different time points during the trial, but the researchers calculated from inconsistency in their answers that the actual proportion who maintained 100% condom use was 25%.
The efficacy of an intervention is how well it works in a scientific trial or when people use it as indicated, i.e.