Proof that condoms work

We’ve discussed some scary statistics when it comes to HIV and Aids. We’ve also spoken before about the importance of condoms in preventing the spread of HIV. Now, according to TimesLive, a recent study conducted by the Royal Society has shown just how effective they can be.

According to figures published in the Royal Society journal, HIV transmission rates in South Africa fell as much as 30% between 2000 and 2008. The decrease was mostly due to increased condom use, particularly by men aged 16 to 24. In fact, according to another study commissioned by Johns Hopkins University, condom use among men of this age increased from 20% to 75% between 1999 and 2009.

Taken against South Africa’s incredibly high infection rate, which stands at 17% of adults ages 15 to 49, this is a vital change in behavior that could conceivably lead to a drop in infection rates over the next few years. As it stands, an estimated 900 people contract HIV every day.

Notably, the drop in transmission rates and the increase in condom use have been directly linked to the increase in HIV education programs available to the public. Leigh Johnson, a researcher from London’s Imperial College and one of the co-authors of the study, said that he hope the results could be used to persuade donors of the importance of funding programs that focus on behavior change and education.

Meanwhile, increased access to ARVs has increased the life-expectancy of those living with HIV, from 54 in 2005 to 58 today.

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