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October 1993

Update: Barrier Protection Against HIV Infection and Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Arch Dermatol. 1993;129(10):1257-1258. doi:10.1001/archderm.1993.01680310027003

Although refraining from intercourse with infected partners remains the most effective strategy for preventing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), the Public Health Service also has recommended condom use as part of its strategy. Since CDC summarized the effectiveness of condom use in preventing HIV infection and other STDs in 1988,1 additional information has become available, and the Food and Drug Administration has approved a polyurethane "female condom." This report updates laboratory and epidemiologic information regarding the effectiveness of condoms in preventing HIV infection and other STDs and the role of spermicides used adjunctively with condoms.*

Two reviews summarizing the use of latex condoms among serodiscordant heterosexual couples (i.e., in which one partner is HIV positive and the other HIV negative) indicated that using latex condoms substantially reduces the risk for HIV transmission.2,3 In addition, two subsequent studies of serodiscordant couples confirmed this

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