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Reproductive Health Matters. 2006 Nov; 14(28):179.The female condom has been on the market for over ten years but despite a clear need it has not yet been adopted for wider use. In 2005 only 14 million female condoms were distributed compared to 6-9 billion male condoms around the world. However, studies in many countries have shown that the female condom is well accepted among both women and men, and that there is demand for it. One of the problems in achieving its widespread distribution in national programmes has been its cost. In an effort to address the problem of cost, the Female Health Company has developed a second generation female condom, FC2. This new version of the female condom has similar physical characteristics to the original female condom but is made of synthetic nitrile utilising a manufacturing process which allows greater efficiencies, particularly at higher volumes. The new device has been shown in studies to be equivalent to the original female condom and has the potential for wider acceptability and utilisation since it is expected to be more affordable for individuals and programmes. (excerpt)
AIDSLINK. 1997 May-Jun; (45):13.AIDS is spreading most rapidly among women, who often cannot negotiate the use of a male condom with reluctant partners. Recent findings from 6 countries, however, indicate that women can draw upon peer support to help them negotiate female condom use with reluctant partners. These findings come from Family Health International's (FHI) AIDS Control and Prevention (AIDSCAP) Project's introduction of the female condom to women through peer support groups in Kenya and Brazil, and the Joint UN Program on HIV/AIDS' (UNAIDS) coordinated studies in Costa Rica, Indonesia, Mexico, and Senegal on sexual negotiation, women's empowerment, and the female condom, also using group education sessions. The US Agency for International Development recently committed $100,000 toward the purchase of 150,000 female condoms for operations research and familiarization in countries where officials have not been exposed to the method. More than 130 participants from 19 countries attended FHI's May 1-2, 1997, conference on the female condom convened in Arlington, Virginia.