via IRIN PlusNews

“Key populations – such as MSM and sex workers – who need the lubricant the most, often get their health-related services from local NGOs, which are not often included in [HIV/AIDS] policies or broader [health] programmes,” explained Bidia Deperthes, a senior HIV adviser with UNFPA’s Comprehensive Condom Programming division in New York.

KATHMANDU, 21 February 2013 (PlusNews) – Safer-sex messaging on condoms is universal but the generally poor availability of lubricants, and awareness of them, is hindering HIV prevention, health activists warn.

Some personal lubricant – or “lube”- has been shown to lower the risk of HIV transmission by decreasing the risk of condoms breaking.

Despite preliminary proof of lube’s efficacy, far less of the product is procured and distributed than condoms, leading people to use alternative, sometimes harmful, substances during intercourse such as butter or petroleum jelly; oil-based lubricants weaken latex, making the condom more likely to break.

Activists say, however, that a blind spot in research on lubricants as a part of HIV prevention programmes means not enough is known about their impact on HIV risk.

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