“One” condoms, February 23, 2022 in Washington (AFP / OLIVIER DOULIERY)
For the first time, US health authorities on Wednesday cleared a brand of condom to be sold specifically for anal sex, hoping to encourage the use of this protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
Condoms were already widely used — and highly recommended — for anal sex, which carries a higher risk of transmitting diseases like AIDS.
But the American Medicines Agency (FDA) had never officially authorized a brand for this use, for lack of data on the question. They were currently only clearly approved for vaginal use.
“FDA approval of a condom specifically indicated, rated and labeled for anal sex could increase the possibility that a condom will be used during anal intercourse,” said Courtney Lias, senior manager at of the health agency.
So far, studies of anal condom use have shown a “failure rate” higher than the required 5%, ie too many condoms slipping or tearing.
But a new study conducted by independent researchers, and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), showed a failure rate of less than 1%.
The condom in question, produced by the company Global Protection Corp and which will be marketed under the name of One Male Condom, is however no different from the others. This better result is in fact mainly due to the use of a suitable lubricant, making it possible to reduce friction. The use of a lubricant is thus included by the FDA in its decision on Wednesday.
Some 250 men who have sex with men and 250 men who have sex with women participated in this study, completing a daily diary.
“I think most people would be surprised to know that condoms are not approved for anal sex,” Davin Wedel, president and founder of Global Protection Corp, said in a statement. “With this new classification from the FDA, there will be more confidence in using condoms for anal sex,” he added.
According to another study conducted by Emory University, 69% of men who have sex with men would be more likely to use condoms frequently if they bore the FDA seal for this use.
This new authorization will allow other manufacturers to file a similar request, underlined the FDA.
The One Male Condom condoms — effectively identical to the “One” condoms already sold by the company — will be available in three versions: standard, slim, or fitted with 54 sizes available.