90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:

CommonHealth: The Demise Of The Female Condom

(Anka Grzywacz/Wikimedia Commons)

In our weekly CommonHealth segment, we look at the little used so-called “female condom,” and ask why it’s not more popular.


  • Judy Norsigian, executive director, Boston health organization Our Bodies Our Selves
  • David Holzman, science journalist


Other stories from this show:

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • midtempo

    After listening to this segment, I’m sold.  Apparently some Walgreens carry this product.

  • Barry Farkas

    over 10 years ago, thinking that it would prove more culturally consonant to many African men in sub-Saharan Africa than the mostly rejected male latex condom, I did a proof of concept exercise in which male peers promoted the “female” condom which we called the “unisex” condom. specifically, because men often dictate the terms of the encounter, some of them might want to protect themselves and those for whom they cared without compromise of sensation. after initial uneasy laughter and many questions, the majority of men (>80%) in rural Tanzania and metropolitan Cape Town enthusiastically accepted, used, and raved about them. in many African cultures, no longer would one face the unacceptable and thus rejected prospect of “having a sweet with the wrapper on.”
    long and exhaustive efforts to rigorously study this intervention (STOMPPAIDS: the Study To Optimise Male Peer Promotion Against Infectious Diseases of Sex) met with unanimous opposition, whether from private, public, governmental or non-governmental organizations worldwide. 
    in South Africa, female condoms were sold in packages of two. dead though he may be, Tupac Shakur remains an icon to many. so the slogan in several languages was: Tupac Shakur says “Get a Two-Pack to be sure!”
    Men and the women and children who continue to acquire and transmit HIV/AIDS were strongly
    supportive. but those with the power to seriously study this failed them. and they continue to fail them. no one, even today more than 10 years later, is willing to evaluate this approach on the merits.

Hosts Meghna Chakrabarti and Anthony Brooks introduce us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and bring us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3.

  • Listen: Weekdays, 3 p.m. on 90.9 FM
  • Live Call-In: (800) 423-TALK
  • Listener Voicemail: (617) 358-0607
Most Popular
This site is best viewed with: Firefox | Internet Explorer 9 | Chrome | Safari