Risk of HIV with Condom Same with or Without Diaphragm

Benefits of adding diaphragm to HIV prevention strategies unclear

FRIDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- The use of a diaphragm and lubricant gel in addition to a condom is not more effective at reducing the risk for HIV infection in women from South Africa and Zimbabwe than using a condom alone, according to a report published online July 13 in The Lancet.

Nancy Padian, Ph.D., from the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues conducted an open-label, randomized, controlled trial with nearly 5,000 sexually active, HIV-negative women to measure the effects of adding a diaphragm and lubricant gel to a comprehensive HIV prevention program on infection rates. Women were followed for an average of 21 months.

The investigators found that infection rates for the two groups were similar, at 3.9 percent for the control group and 4.1 percent for the intervention group, despite the fact that women who used diaphragms tended to use condoms less often.

"We observed no added protective benefit against HIV infection when the diaphragm and lubricant gel were provided in addition to condoms and a comprehensive HIV prevention package," the authors write. "Although the intervention seemed safe, our findings do not support addition of the diaphragm to current HIV prevention strategies."

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