Effects of condoms on reducing transmission of herpes simplex virus type 2 from men to women

McKay, Alexander
September 2000
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality;2000, Vol. 9 Issue 3, p211
Academic Journal
The installment of Sex Research Update summarizes recent research on the effectiveness of condoms in reducing the transmission of herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 2 from men to women; shifts in American attitudes toward homosexuality; the provision of emergency contraception to teens and their subsequent condom use; the evaluation of a cognitive behavior therapy program for men and women with sexual disfunctions; the possible benefits of gay-sensitive HIV instruction in schools; and Nova Scotia high school students discussions with their physicians about sexual health. The authors speculate that condoms are protective for women but not for men because penile skin is the most common site of HSV shedding for heterosexual men whereas, for women, the vulvar and perianal areas are the most common sites of viral shedding. Thus, while condoms cover the penile skin and therefore reduce the risk of transmission to women, men wearing condoms are still likely to come in direct contact with female shedding sites. Although it is clear that public discussion of sexual orientation has increased significantly in recent decades and that issues of gay and lesbian rights have continued to move to the forefront of public and political discourse, homosexuality remains controversial.


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