Statement on dual protection against unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
This paper presents the International Planned Parenthood Federation's statement on dual protection. Dual protection is defined as the simultaneous prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV as well as unwanted pregnancy. This can be achieved by the consistent use of condoms alone or by the simultaneous use of two methods. Avoidance of penetrative sex, particularly in situations of high risk, is another means of achieving dual protection. It is noted that male latex condoms have proved to be the most effective method for protection against STIs and HIV when used consistently and correctly with every act of sexual intercourse. However, there are factors that lessen their acceptability for some clients, including the need to use them with every act of intercourse and the perception that they reduce sexual spontaneity and enjoyment. Although injectable and implantable steroid hormones, IUDs, and sterilization do not require substantial involvement of the user, they do not provide protection against STIs and HIV. Oral contraceptives, likewise, provide no protection against STIs and HIV. The concept of dual protection is essential for the prevention of unwanted pregnancy as well as STIs and HIV. Implications for sexual and reproductive health programs are discussed.