As we’ve shared in the past, there are many methods of STD prevention. Some are more common — condoms, abstinence, regular STD testing — and other, like the ones we’re sharing below, are more…interesting.
Here are a few unconventional methods of STD prevention that have surfaced lately.
STD Prevention You May Not Have Heard Of
Scroguard is essentially a sort of latex underpant made to prevent skin-to-skin contact during intercourse. It’s designed for men and has a place where the condom is inserted to ensure all secretions are contained.
Since both HPV and genital herpes are spread through direct skin contact and secretions, this product seems great in theory, as it can prevent bodily fluids from touching skin.
However, setting all aesthetic concerns aside (latex underpants are not so attractive to most people!), using the Scroguard as STD prevention isn’t suggested, as the manufacturers admit that it isn’t an FDA-approved medical device. We do have to give the makers props for drawing attention to the fact that some STDs are spread through skin-to-skin contact, so vaginal or anal intercourse isn’t the only form of transmission.
Another strange form of STD prevention, microbial condoms, are currently in development in Australia.
These condoms combine VivaGel, a vaginal microbicide designed to protect against HIV and other STIs, with regular condoms, adding another layer of protection.
Again, this is a nice STD prevention method in theory, but since the efficacy of VivaGel is still being studied, it remains to be seen how effective this will be. Only three peer-reviewed studies have been published, and in 2, women using microbial condoms experienced vaginal inflammation, which actually increases the risk of acquiring HIV.
Furthermore, people using microbial condoms might think they can completely prevent STDs or STIs from spreading even if the condom breaks, which isn’t true. This means people might not get the treatment they need after a condom breaks, leading to the further spread of STDs.