Several times a year, CBAS distributes an electronic newsletter to subscribers. The newsletter is designed to keep subscribers abreast of new research, activities in the field, and relevant events. Recipients are encouraged to share the newsletter with others. If you have input on the content of the newsletter or have an item of interest to include, contact us at

Note: We are always updating our research listings on the CBAS website. Please contact us at with study updates or information on new research related to cervical barriers or female condoms.

In this December 2011 issue:

Table of Contents:

CONRAD Announces Results of SILCS Contraceptive Effectiveness Study and New Funding for Multipurpose Prevention Trial has released results from its contraceptive effectiveness study of the new, single-size SILCS Diaphragm developed by PATH. Results were presented on September 17, 2011, at the Reproductive Health 2011 Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. The study conducted with 450 US women showed that effectiveness rates of SILCS are similar to other currently available diaphragms and that users found SILCS easy to use and comfortable to wear.   

Once approved by regulatory bodies in developing and developed country settings, SILCS will be the first single-size diaphragm ever available to women worldwide. Its design eliminates the need for fitting by a clinician and should make the method easier for health care personnel to provide and more accessible to women. This new technology will provide women with a broader choice of contraceptive methods that they can control and/or use discreetly, and represents a new option for women who do not wish to or are unable to use hormonal methods or long-acting methods such as the IUD. In addition, the SILCS Diaphragm could also potentially serve as a delivery device for a vaginal microbicide designed to prevent HIV infection. In October 2011, CONRAD announced it was recently awarded a five-year grant from USAID to test the safety and effectiveness of SILCS combined with tenofovir gel, a microbicide recently shown to prevent HIV and Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) in a trial among HIV-negative women in South Africa.

We invite you to learn more about the results of the SILCS contraceptive effectiveness study and the new SILCS-tenofovir study by reading the official CONRAD press releases, available here and here.


(Photo: SILCS Diaphragm)


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Woman’s Condom—“O’lavie”—Makes Debut in China and men in China now have a new option for barrier contraceptive and HIV protection: the O’lavie female condom. O’lavie is the brand name of the Woman’s Condom for the China market. The product has Shanghai Food and Drug Administration (2011) and CE Mark (2010) regulatory approval, which allows for distribution and marketing in China and Europe, respectively. “O’lavie” is being promoted as a pleasurable protection option for women and men. Dahua Medical Apparatus Company (Dahua), PATH’s licensee and manufacturer of the product, introduced O’lavie recently at the 6th Reproductive Health Technologies Expo in Beijing, China, to an audience of family planning officials and commercial representatives. In addition, Dahua launched its O’lavie website to market the product in China:

At the same time, PATH staff have been raising the profile of O’lavie with key public-sector officials in China. For example, PATH presented on O’lavie at the 6th Annual International Cooperation Programs on HIV/AIDS in Beijing, organized by the National Center for AIDS/STD Prevention and Control, the Ministry of Health, and the UNAIDS China office.

Taken together, these represent exciting steps forward in raising awareness about and generating demand for O’lavie in China. PATH and Dahua will continue to build on this momentum through their Protection Options for Women Product Development Partnership.

For more information about the Woman’s Condom, please contact:

Patricia Coffey

Woman’s Condom Team Leader

PATH PO Box 900922

Seattle, WA 98109, USA

(Photo: Woman's Condom)

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Updated CBAS Diaphragm and Female Condom Bibliographies

We are excited to share these updated resources with the CBAS community. Our bibliographies of the literature on the diaphragm and cervical cap and on the female condom now include the latest peer-reviewed, published articles (updated through October 2011). Both bibliographies can be downloaded on our website in chronologically or alphabetically arranged formats by following the links below.

Female condom bibliography chronologically arranged
Female condom bibliography alphabetically arranged

Diaphragm bibliography chronologically arranged
Diaphragm bibliography alphabetically arranged


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UNFPA Female Condom Programming Report
We invite you to read a new report released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) entitled “HIV Prevention Gains Momentum: Successes in Female Condom Programming.” The report presents success stories in female condom programming from countries such as Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Guyana, and Nigeria, where private, government, and civil society representatives have worked together to promote the female condom as part of a comprehensive condom programming strategy. The report also provides recommendations for a 10-step strategic approach to scaling up female condom programming in various country contexts. Please click here to download the full report.


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Recent conferences

International Conference on Female Condoms

The “Prevention, Pleasure, and Protection” International Conference on Female Condoms organized by the Universal Access to Female Condoms (UAFC) Joint Programme, in co-operation with PSI Zimbabwe and the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), was held in The Hague, The Netherlands, November 17-18, 2011. The conference brought together over 125 experts in female condom development, advocacy, and programming to discuss a variety of topics, including nanotechnology, regulatory developments, the use of social media, localization of gatekeepers, and the sustainability of the global advocacy movement. To learn more about the UAFC Joint Programme and the conference, please click here.


Multipurpose Prevention Technologies for Reproductive Health Symposium
The Multipurpose Prevention Technologies for Reproductive Health Symposium held November 3-4, 2011, in Washington, DC, brought together a diverse group of researchers, advocates, donors, and clinicians from around the globe to discuss research on multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) that are designed to prevent unplanned pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (including HIV), and/or other reproductive tract infections. Topics of interest to CBAS members, such as implementation of female condoms and other existing MPTs, and integration of user perspectives into the design of new MPTs such as the SILCS Diaphragm, were discussed in various sessions. The symposium was hosted by the Coalition Advancing Multipurpose Innovations (CAMI), whose goal is to provide women around the world with safe, effective, low cost, and user-friendly means of protecting themselves simultaneously from HIV, other sexually transmitted and reproductive tract infections, and/or unintended pregnancy. For more information on the symposium and to review the program, click here.


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Participate in a Survey on Female Condom Awareness, Attitudes, Access, and Use in the US

Tell the US Female Condom Access Working Group what you think about female condoms! The Female Condom (FC) Access Working Group is conducting a survey to determine people’s attitudes toward, access to, and use of female condoms in the United States. This survey is intended for people of all genders and sexual orientations who have engaged in vaginal or anal sex at least once in the last 12 months. The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. No identifying information is requested or recorded. Survey results will help the FC Access Working Group to improve community education, availability, and access to female condoms. Please click here to take the survey.

Please contact Jessica Terlikowski of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago with any questions.


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Upcoming Workshop on the WHO/UNFPA Pre-Qualification Scheme for Female Condoms
UNFPA and the World Health Organization (WHO) will be hosting a free workshop to present and review the WHO/UNFPA Prequalification Scheme for Female Condoms and the key requirements for manufacturers to become prequalified, January 16-19, 2012, in Bangkok, Thailand. The workshop will present the WHO/UNFPA technical review process while also providing an opportunity to review and discuss the requirements and procedures to produce quality assured female condoms for public sector procurement. Workshop attendees will have the opportunity to provide input and participate in roundtable discussions to ensure that they are clearly informed about all the components of the prequalification scheme. All individuals or organizations with a vested interest in the workshop’s content are invited to attend. 


For more information on this workshop, please email:


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CBAS Steering Committee


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To comment on anything you read in the CBAS newsletter or to contribute a story, event, or news item, please email CBAS.


Ibis Reproductive Health

CBAS is coordinated by Ibis Reproductive Health