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    Peer Reviewed

    Considerations regarding re-use of the female condom: information update, 10 July 2002.

    World Health Organization [WHO]

    Reproductive Health Matters. 2002; 10(20):182-186.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends use of a new male or female condom for every act of intercourse where there is a risk of unplanned pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted infection, including HIV. Since access to female condoms may be limited and re-use of female condoms has been reported, WHO has convened two consultations to address considerations regarding such re-use. Based on these consultations, WHO does not recommend or promote re-use of female condoms. Recognizing the urgent need for risk-reduction strategies for women who cannot or do not access new condoms, the consultation developed a draft protocol for safe handling and preparation of female condoms intended for re-use. This protocol, outlined in this paper, is based on the best available evidence, but has not yet been extensively studied for safety or evaluated for efficacy in human use. Given the diversity of cultural and social contexts and personal circumstances under which female condom re-use may be acceptable, feasible and safe, and since the balance of risks and benefits varies according to individual settings, the final decision on whether or not to support re-use of the female condom must ultimately be taken locally. WHO continues to support research on female condom re-use and will disseminate relevant information, study results and guidelines for policy makers as additional data on re-use become available. (author's)
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