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The HIV/AIDS epidemic has led program managers to seek approaches to family planning (FP) that will also help combat HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). These approaches include use of simplified STI diagnosis and treatment protocols and promotion of male and female condoms. One aspect of condom promotion that is receiving increased attention is the idea of adding men to community-based distribution (CBD) programs. The male latex condom is the only contraceptive method that, when used correctly and consistently, provides protection against STIs, including HIV/AIDS. Currently, an estimated 6 to 9 billion male condoms are used worldwide annually. However, experts estimate that 24 billion male condoms should be used annually to provide adequate protection against STIs and HIV/AIDS. CBD programs are important sources of temporary FP methods in many countries, but most programs distribute far fewer condoms than oral contraceptives. One reason may be that most CBD agents are women, and gender differences between distributors and potential clients may limit the sale of condoms. This program brief reviews evidence from operations research and other studies in 13 countries about the effectiveness of men as CBD workers.






Frontiers in Reproductive Health