Gay men 'encouraged to use female condoms'

San Francisco's department of public health (DPH) is to educate gay and bisexual men of the benefits of using female condoms during anal sex.

The initiative will be launched on Valentine's Day and the move comes after female condoms were redesigned, according to the Bay Area Reporter.

If men do decide to use this prophylactic device, it could cut down on the number of sexually transmitted infections (STI) and the spread of HIV.

"The female condom has been out since the 1990s and we have been offering the old one ... for some time now. Gay men ask for it more often than women," said Jacqueline McCright, the community-based STI services manager at DPH.

However, the DPH would like to see the use of the female condom for homosexuals become widespread.

It comes after an article in the Botswana Gazette observed male prisoners should be given the prophylactic device to cut down on the risk of STIs.