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For the first time ever, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved a condom to be marketed as suitable for use during anal and vaginal sex.
The condom, manufactured by Global Protection Corp, was authorised on February 23.
The company requested that the FDA allowed them to label their condom – called the One Male Condom – as intended for use during anal sex after they conducted a study showing that it had less than a 0.68 per cent rate of failing during anal sex, meaning that it was very unlikely to slip off or break.
Health experts recommend that condoms should be used for anal sex as protection against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). However, prior to the recent approval, no condoms could be marketed as being safe for anal sex because there wasn’t strong enough data to support it.
Dr Kenneth Mayer, medical researcher for Fenway Health, told the New York Times that being able to market condoms for anal sex may encourage companies to increase their marketing. He said: “You don’t see condom ads on gay social media, for example, so this would incentivize that as part of the conversation.”
In the FDA press release, they announced that they are creating “special controls”, criteria that state what the labelling and performance requirements are. This would enable other condoms to receive the same approval.
The FDA said in their statement: “When met, the special controls, in combination with general controls, provide a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness for devices of this type.” So, if condom companies can show they meet these special controls and demonstrate “substantial equivalence” to the One Male Condom, then they can obtain approval for marketing their condoms as safe for anal sex. This includes companies in the UK.
Responses to the news have been mixed. Christian Neckles, health promotion worker at LGBTQIA+ charity Trade Sexual Health, told Prude: “I just think that’s it’s a little too late to officially say that this is okay for anal sex, when it’s been known for years that normal condoms protect from HIV.
“It’s good that it’s out, but in terms of the practicality and the change it’s going to bring to the community I don’t think there’s going to be much [change]. I would, however, like to know what the price disparity would be between this condom and the condoms already available. Is it going to be more expensive?”
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