One widely quoted remark of this nature came from Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni who, at the Fifteenth International AIDS Conference in Bangkok in 2004, advocated for HIV prevention based on “optimal relationships based on love and trust instead of institutionalised mistrust, which is what the condom is all about…I think of condoms as an improvisation, not a solution”.
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Consistently used condoms provide significant protection against HIV, pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
The degree of protection they offer against HIV and STIs is significantly better than any other single prevention method, taken in isolation, other than sexual abstinence or complete mutual monogamy between two people who have tested negative for HIV.
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.
However, because they are not always used correctly even if they are used consistently, studies have found efficacy rates of 85 to 87% when young women use condoms as their sole form of contraception.
Condoms are, however, the only method on that list that has been shown to protect against STIs as well as pregnancy.
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.