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In the face of the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic, the female condom was lauded as an innovative HIV prevention method capable of empowering women by allowing them to better negotiate safer sex while also encouraging societies to discuss unequal gender dynamics in sexual relationships. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, FSG conducted landscape, programmatic, stakeholder, and cost-effective analyses to better understand the female condom field, highlight lessons learned from 15 years of implementation, and offer insights into how to increase the female condom's impact as a HIV prevention tool.

Top Takeaways

  1. The female condom deserves support as a vital technology in the toolbox of HIV prevention when it can be directed to individuals who cannot or will not use the male condom.
  2. The field does not have a consistent definition of success for the female condom, creating an obstacle for garnering additional support.
  3. The female condom provides crucial benefits in terms of women's empowerment, but these are difficult to quantify.
The female condom should result in averted cases of HIV/AIDS and unwanted pregnancies that could not be more readily achieved through alternative approaches, notably additional promotion of male condoms, and should be distributed in a manner that is as cost-effective as possible.