Public health experts have long advocated for condoms usage during anal sex, but there was never adequate performance testing to allow marketing specifically for that use.
That all changed Wednesday, February 23, when the US Food and Drug Administration revealed that it will enable Global Protection Corp. to market the One Male Condom as a product that can “reduce transmission of sexually transmitted infections” for both vaginal and anal sex. In other words, condoms specifically designed for anal sex are finally here.
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This authorization by the FDA is notable in more ways than one. Not only does the official recognition indicate a huge win for destigmatization of anal sex, particularly as it relates to gay intercourse, but experts also think this designation will encourage more individuals to use condoms and prevent the spread of STIs.
In fact, it's rather shocking it's taken this long to authorize considering “The risk of STI transmission during anal intercourse is significantly higher than during vaginal intercourse,” as Courtney Lias, Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Office of GastroRenal, ObGyn, General Hospital, and Urology Devices in the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, pointed out in a statement.
During a clinical trial of the One Male Condom, there was a 0.68% total condom failure rate for anal intercourse in comparison to the 1.89% for vaginal intercourse. Over 500 men between the ages of 18 and 54 participated in the study; 252 of those subjects had sex with men and another 252 had sex with women.
“The FDA’s authorization of a condom that is specifically indicated, evaluated and labeled for anal intercourse may improve the likelihood of condom use during anal intercourse,” Lias continued. “Furthermore, this authorization helps us accomplish our priority to advance health equity through the development of safe and effective products that meet the needs of diverse populations.”
The FDA has revealed that this move will enable other companies to apply for an approval as well. A step in the right direction.
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