A review of the literature shows that condoms offer good protection against HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases. A series of in vitro experiments demonstrate that quality condoms made of latex are impermeable to HIV. In addition, more than 30 in vivo studies confirm that condoms are highly effective in preventing the transmission of HIV. Condom breakage or slippage is relatively uncommon (1-5%). Most condom failure probably results from incorrect or inconsistent usage. Failures may be minimized by increasing experience, choice of quality condoms and by strictly following instructions for use.