Dating someone who has genital herpes
Despite this, the use and promotion of condoms continue to be targets for controversy and criticism, and sexual abstinence and monogamy are often promoted as superior alternatives.While condoms offer useful and vital protection, they have also become associated with promiscuity and infidelity.
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.In one of the most highly publicised statements, in October 2003, the President of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, said: "The AIDS virus is roughly 450 times smaller than the spermatozoon.The spermatozoon can easily pass through the 'net' that is formed by the condom.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.
consistently; its effectiveness is how well it actually works to prevent disease or infection in a given population, given actual levels of use.
The main findings of studies we look at in more detail below are as follows: These degrees of protection may be lower than some readers expect, and rates of 98% reliability are still sometimes quoted for condoms.
These are based upon observations of their use in contraception: studies have shown that 98% of women relying on condoms as their sole form of contraception remain pregnancy free if condoms are used perfectly, meaning that they are used consistently and correctly at every act of sexual intercourse.
Another kind of study is to conduct a prospective cohort study, looking at differences in HIV incidence between two groups of people according to their usage of condoms.
This cannot be a randomised controlled study, but participants’ HIV and STI incidence can be related to their condom use either at baseline or preferably (because behaviours change over time) by means of regular questionnaires and monitoring.
These can be done in individuals whose characteristics are known and can be controlled for, and if the relationship truly is monogamous then infections by acute STIs and from outsiders can be ruled out.