The Female Condom as HIV Prevention
The Female Condom
In 2014, global investment related to female condom R&D totaled US$3.6 million, an increase of US$1.4 million over 2013), from the Female Health Company and the Universal Access to Female Condoms (UAFC) Joint Programme, funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Female condoms have been available for over 20 years and are marketed in over 140 countries. As of March 2014, the FC2 and Cupid 1 are the only female condom products prequalified by the World Health Organization (WHO), while several other products are at various stages of development.
- A functionality study of the Cupid 2 was finished in 2014, and the results submitted to UNFPA. Cupid Ltd is also developing new varieties of female condoms.
- Velvet, developed by HLL Lifecare Ltd, finished in a functionality study in 2014, with the results submitted to UNFPA. Velvet is currently distributed in Australia, Bahamas, Brazil, India and Nepal.
- The Woman’s Condom (also: O’Lavie, V female condom, Whisper, Maximum Diva), developed by the Dahua Medical Apparatus Company is currently under review by the WHO and UNFPA for prequalification and undergoing an effectiveness study needed for USFDA approval.
- Other products under ongoing research include the FC3 from the Female Health Company.
- The Gates Foundation is providing support to several innovators to develop the Next Generation of male and female condoms.
- Ongoing clinical research included in the investment total is a clinical trial by the International Program for Microbicides (IPM) designed to assess use of the female condom when used in the presence and absence of a placebo vaginal ring.