Smiling woman with another woman standing behind her.

PATH’s work helps women take charge of their own protection

Increasingly, the face of the AIDS crisis is female. Because of differences in physiology, women are twice as likely to contract HIV as men, when exposed to it.

But they are often less able to protect themselves. Abstinence, faithfulness, condom use—these primary modes of HIV prevention all require the cooperation of the male partner. Gender inequality in the developing world limits women’s options and ability to protect their own health.

That’s why PATH is helping develop woman-initiated methods to guard against sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancy, or both:

  • A new female condom that is easy to use, comfortable, unobtrusive, and affordable.
  • A one-size-fits-most diaphragm that does not require a doctor’s fitting.
  • A simple gel and applicator that protect against HIV.

A world in which the balance of health options is more evenly cast will be a healthier and more just world.

Photo: David Jacobs.

PATH's Woman's Condom and its packaging.

Woman’s Condom

A unique kind of condom

Woman's Condom expands choices for protection

SILCS diaphragm

SILCS diaphragm

A new kind of diaphragm

Single-sized, easier to use

Five women standing on a hill.

Global Campaign for Microbicides

Giving women power over AIDS

HIV protection without a condom?