Condom Effectiveness in Reducing Heterosexual HIV Transmission
Weller, S. C., & Davis-Beaty, K. The Cochrane Library (2009). doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD003255.
This study reviewed data from 14 longitudinal studies of sexually active serodiscordant heterosexual couples. In 13 of the studies, all the participants used condoms at 100 percent of sexual encounters, while the cohort in one study comprised those who never used condoms. Overall, the studies showed that consistent condom use for all acts of penetrative vaginal intercourse was associated with an 80 percent reduction in HIV seroconversion. The authors noted a lack of detail in the studies (e.g., on correct use), and there were inconsistencies in terminology about condom use across the different studies. The review also found limited information on disease-free exposure time. The results suggested that condom use is less effective for HIV prevention than it is for pregnancy prevention. Recommendations for future studies included improving the way that condom use is coded to give more detailed information.