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Custom Made: India Distributes Female, Gay Condoms

Indian women and gay men, two marginalized populations, gain control over their lives and personal liberation from condoms made just for them.

Female condoms have become increasingly popular, thanks to an ambitious government initiative. While the female condoms protect women at risk of contracting HIV from their husbands, the freedom provided by the condoms also extends to contraceptive benefits, and an overall feeling of increased control.

The response from women and their husbands has been better than expected. But, despite reported progress, providing female condoms is not enough; women must learn how to communicate with their partners. Dr. Linda Cottler, who researches HIV prevention efforts, explains the challenge in India:

Intimate partner violence is common, and it occurs because women ask their partners to use condoms. Some women in India think that they can wash their or their partners' genitals with bleach, alcohol, or water as a way to protect themselves from the virus. These myths must be countered with better education.

Walking a fine line, India also has plans to distribute a more effective, for-gay-men condom through non-profits and community groups. To find out why this plan is so radical,


Indian law prohibits homosexual acts, but the country must face the fact that its homosexual men are at high-risk for infection. Since the Indian government doesn't condone homosexuality, the condoms get marketed as "Super Strong Condoms" or "Stud Condoms." It's encouraging to see disadvantaged individuals gaining control of their lives.


Join The Conversation
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I'm thinking they probably use both?
suziryder suziryder 8 years
OHHH, the female condom and the gay condoms are the same thing? Sandra Oh (Christine on Grey's) was in a teeny little film called "Barrier Device" in 2002 about a researcher studying the female condom... it made it seem like it's really awkward to use and that guys are creeped out by it. I wonder why gay men would use that sort of condom rather than the traditional male condom? And also: washing your lady parts with bleach?! Youch!!
janneth janneth 8 years
Those poor women. Domestic violence and marital HIV.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
I'm with Torg here.... "a more effective, for-gay-men condom"? What exactly IS that?
acyl acyl 8 years
Good for them.
outtajo outtajo 8 years
The "female" condom should more accurately be called an "insertive" condom, especially considering that the biggest market for "female" condoms in the U.S. is not women, but gay men.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
My bf's sex ed teacher tried the female condom with his wife and told his class about it. He said, "It is like having sex with a plastic bag". :? Maybe it has improved since then?
stephley stephley 8 years
I would think the choice between bleach or a condom would be an easy one.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
What is "a more effective, for-gay-men condom"? I don't really get it...
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