Consistent and correct use of male condoms reduces sexual transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in both vaginal and anal sex by up to 94%. Use of water- or silicone-based lubricants (as opposed to petroleum-based) helps to prevent condoms from breaking and slipping. While fewer data are available on female condoms, evidence suggests that use of female condoms also prevents HIV and STIs.
Proper and systematic use of condoms and compatible lubricants is recommended for all the key populations to prevent sexual transmission of HIV and STIs (a strong recommendation, moderate quality of evidence).
Increasing the availability, accessibility, affordability and use of male and female condoms and condom-compatible lubricants through targeted distribution programs is an essential component of the HIV response.
- Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have committed to condom programming to ensure 90% use in the last sexual encounter by gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender women and female sex workers by 2020
- According to the latest data (2017), the regional median for condom use among MSM in their most recent sexual encounter is 63%; among FSWs, 80%; and among transgender women, 88%
- Most of the countries in LAC do not distribute lubricants along with condoms for the general public or young people (2017 data)
- In LAC, even where public policies for the distribution of free condoms and lubricants are in place, the supply is often insufficient to meet the needs of the key populations (2017 data)