A meta-analysis of condom effectiveness in reducing sexually transmitted HIV

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    162 Scopus citations


    Before condoms can be considered as a prophylaxis for sexually transmitted human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), their efficacy must be considered. This paper reviews evidence on condom effectiveness in reducing the risk of heterosexually transmitted human HIV. A meta-analysis conducted on data from in vivo studies of HIV discordant sexual partners is used to estimate the protective effect of condoms. Although contraceptive research indicates that condoms are 87% effective in preventing pregnancy, results of HIV transmission studies indicate that condoms may reduce risk of HIV infection by approximately 69%. Thus, efficacy may be much lower than commonly assumed, although results should be viewed tentatively due to design limitations in the original studies.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1635-1644
    Number of pages10
    JournalSocial Science and Medicine
    Issue number12
    StatePublished - Jun 1993


    • condoms
    • HIV prevention
    • meta-analysis
    • sexual behavior

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics
    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
    • Social Psychology
    • Development
    • Health(social science)


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