Women overlook the female condom

NGOs say cost and lack of promotion are obstacles

It’s been 15 years since the first female condom was approved in the U.S. as an option in helping reduce the risk of HIV and unwanted pregnancies—but aid agencies say many women don’t use it because it’s not readily available in stores and is more expensive than traditional condoms. At the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City last week, members of Oxfam called the situation a “scandal born of ignorance and inertia,” and several organizations urged governments to make the device more accessible and to lower the cost. Five female condoms can cost an average of about $18, compared to about $7 for a box of 12 men’s condoms.