Revisiting the Use of Condoms in Brazil

Published in: Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia (Brazilian Journal of Epidemiology), v. 18, Suppl. 1, Sep. 2015, p. 63-88

Posted on RAND.org on December 01, 2015

by Ines Dourado, Sarah MacCarthy, Manasa Reddy, Sofia Gruskin

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INTRODUCTION: It is known that a single prevention strategy is not enough to control multiple HIV epidemics around the world and in Brazil. However, it is not only necessary to recognize the importance of condoms as part of the policy of HIV/AIDS prevention but also discuss its limits. In this article, we aim to investigate the use of condoms in Brazil, draw critical reflections, and understand how they can once again be highlighted in Brazil's prevention strategy going forward. METHODS: A narrative review of literature was conducted using keywords in PubMed. Reports from national surveys that guide the epidemiological and behavioral surveillance of the Brazilian Ministry of Health were also included. RESULTS: A total of 40 articles and 3 reports were included in the review and 11 intervention studies to promote the condom use; the main findings were as follows: 1) Despite the increase in national studies on sexual behavior, little attention is given to the role of condom use; 2) There are few studies examining the factors associated with condom use among key populations such as men who have sex with men (MSM), female sex workers (FSW), drug users (DU), and transvestites and transexuals (TT), while substantial studies focus on adolescents and women; 3) Evidence suggests that a combination of interventions is more effective. DISCUSSION: New prevention technologies must not lose sight of the critical importance of condoms, and efforts to reintroduce them should focus on the role of pleasure in addition to their potential to minimize the risk of HIV.

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