Two hundred and seventy seven homosexual men participating in an AIDS study in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, were interviewed in July to December 1986 regarding their experiences with the use of condoms during anogenital intercourse. It appeared that in many cases the condoms used could not be described as reliable, or were not used safely. In 8% (117/1468) of cases the condom tore or slipped off. When different condoms were compared, it was seen that "qualified" anal condoms functioned best. Other anal condoms functioned worse, and in many cases even worse than classic vaginal condoms. Whether these differences exclusively depended on differences in quality cannot be assessed. Men who buy a qualified anal condom are possibly more motivated and thus also less likely to have failures. Regarding the apparent unreliability of the condoms used, homosexual men are advised to refrain from anogenital intercourse. When this is not feasible, a qualified anal condom should be used.
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