Feb 23, 2022 - Politics & Policy

FDA grants first condom approval for use during anal sex

A condom. Photo by Gerardo Vieyra/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday authorized for the first time a condom for anal sex, as well as vaginal intercourse.

Why it matters: Public health experts have long advocated for the authorization because it could encourage more people to use condoms while having anal sex to prevent the spread of STIs and HIV, the New York Times notes.

Details: The ONE male condom will be marketed as an anal condom as well as a vaginal condom, according to the FDA.

  • The company asked the FDA approval last year after a show showed that failure rate during anal sex to be less than 1%, per NYT.

Catch up quick: Unprotected anal sex "carries the greatest sexual exposure risk of HIV transmission," and the risk of contracting an STI is "significantly higher" than during vaginal sex, according to the FDA.

  • While condom use was recommended by the CDC and other health authorities during anal sex, no condom had ever been approved specifically for its use. The FDA required a failure rate of less than 5%, and earlier studies had shown higher failure rates, per NYT.

What they're saying: "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," said Dr. Courtney Lias, director of the FDA’s Office of GastroRenal, ObGyn, General Hospital, and Urology Devices, in a release on Wednesday.

  • "[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," Lias added.
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