Expanding protection options for women and men
The global need for dual protection from unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections is staggering. An estimated 200 million couples in developing countries would like to delay or stop childbearing but are not using any method of contraception. Approximately 2.6 million people became newly infected with HIV in 2009, with sexual transmission as the largest driver of new infections. Women make up more than half of the 34 million people living with HIV/AIDS globally and 60 percent of HIV-positive individuals in sub-Saharan Africa. More options for dual protection are urgently needed, as existing technologies do not adequately address the gap.
Woman’s Condom: A new option designed for protection from unintended pregnancy and STIs/HIV
The Woman’s Condom gives women and men an additional choice for dual protection. It is a new female condom designed to provide protection from pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)—including HIV—and to be highly pleasurable and acceptable. The Woman’s Condom has unique design features that enable easy insertion, secure fit during use, good sensation, and easy removal. Read more >>
With funding from USAID under CONRAD, PATH developed the Woman’s Condom by consulting with and testing the product among women and couples in several countries. Engaging users as co-designers helped us develop a highly acceptable new female condom positioned to meet the needs of a diverse range of users. Read more >>
Clinical evaluation of the Woman’s Condom confirms that the product is safe, easy to use, and performs well. Qualitative assessment and market research is helping set the stage for product introduction. Read more >>
Market development, introduction, and advocacy
In 2008, PATH transferred production of the Woman’s Condom to the Dahua Medical Apparatus Company (Dahua) of Shanghai, China. In 2011, PATH received funding from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support the Protection Options for Women (POW) product development partnership among Dahua, CONRAD, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and PATH. Together we are building supply, verifying safety and efficacy, and developing markets for the Woman’s Condom. We are also raising awareness and engaging in advocacy to help create an enabling environment for female condoms. The Woman’s Condom is available in select markets and POW is working to raise awareness and build demand at the global and regional level with a specific focus on China and South Africa. Read more >>
Woman’s Condom regulatory approvals and strategy
PATH received support from many donors to develop, validate, and build markets for the Woman’s Condom. We gratefully acknowledge support from the United States Agency for International Development under the CONRAD program and the PATH HealthTech program, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Universal Access to Female Condoms, the Lemelson Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and others.