March 2000

Condom promotion in microbicide trials

Van de Wijgert J, Elias C, Ellertson C, McGrory E, Blanchard K, Friedland B, Winikoff B, Brown G. Condom promotion in microbicide trials. American Journal of Public Health. 2000; 90(7):1153-1154

This article argues that it is not ethical to condone potential harm to individual trial participants in microbicide testing by withholding condoms and information, even if microbicides turn out to be as efficacious as Potts portrays them to be. There are methodologies as well as ethical reasons for providing condoms and sexually transmitted disease treatment within microbicide trials. Condom promotion within trials may improve community relations and facilitate trial approval and implementation. In addition, condom promotion ensures community benefits from the trial by strengthening HIV prevention infrastructure. Rather than debate whether condoms should be promoted, the researchers are urged to 1) design and evaluate appropriate condom interventions for microbicide trials, 2) develop ways to identify women who will not or cannot use condoms but are at risk for HIV, and 3) address other obstacles in microbicide development and testing. - Click here to see more.