Facts on condom use for HIV & STI prevention.
The only 100% effective way to prevent sexual transmission of HIV and STDs is through abstinence – avoiding all vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Using a latex male condom or a female condom can greatly reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of HIV and STD transmission.
Consistent and Correct Condom Use
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To achieve maximum protection by using condoms, they must be used consistently and correctly.
The failure of condoms to protect against STD/HIV transmission usually results from inconsistent or incorrect use, rather than product failure.
- Inconsistent or nonuse can lead to STD acquisition because transmission can occur with a single-sex act with an infected partner.
- Incorrect use diminishes the protective effect of condoms by leading to condom breakage, slippage, or leakage. Incorrect use more commonly entails a failure to use condoms throughout the entire sex act, from the start (of sexual contact) to finish (after ejaculation).
How to Use a Condom Consistently and Correctly
- Use a new condom for every act of vaginal, anal, and oral sex throughout the entire sex act (from start to finish). Before any genital contact, put the condom on the tip of the erect penis with the rolled side out.
- If the condom does not have a reservoir tip, pinch the tip enough to leave a half-inch space for semen to collect. Holding the tip, unroll the condom to the base of the erect penis.
- After ejaculation and before the penis gets soft, grip the rim of the condom and carefully withdraw. Then gently pull the condom off the penis, making sure that semen doesn’t spill out.
- Wrap the condom in a tissue and throw it in the trash where others won’t handle it.
- If you feel the condom break at any point during sexual activity, stop immediately, withdraw, remove the broken condom, and put on a new condom.
- Ensure that adequate lubrication is used during vaginal and anal sex, which might require water-based lubricants. Oil-based lubricants (e.g., petroleum jelly, massage oils, body lotions, and cooking oil) should not be used because they can weaken latex, causing breakage.
5 great reasons to use lube the next time you’re getting intimate
There have never been more forms of lube widely available, and from so many places including pharmacies, health stores, and supermarkets. So it’s a great time to start incorporating it into your sex life!
There have never been more forms of lubricants (also known as lube) widely available, and from so many places including pharmacies, health stores, and supermarkets. So it’s a great time to start incorporating it into your sex life! Get ready to rid yourself of any outdated notions you might have about lube by reading about its many benefits…
- Lube can be used by anyone, for anything
There’s no such thing as a ‘typical’ lube user. It can and is used by all, regardless of gender, age and sexuality, and can also be used during masturbation. Simply apply it to any part of the body that feels good, or use it with a sex toy. Lube can be water-, oil- or silicone-based, so just make sure that you’re using one that’s suitable for you, your partner, and any sex toys you use.
- It can enhance the pleasure
Lube doesn’t have to be the last resort for when things have gone a bit dry – you can use it at any time during sex, and it also comes in different flavors and can create different sensations like a warming or cooling effect wherever it’s applied. Some lube can help delay ejaculation too. When additional lube is used with a condom, it can also make sex feel more natural. All in all, lube can seriously enhance the pleasure of everyone involved!
- But if you are feeling a bit dry down there…
Vaginal dryness during sex is common and can happen for many different reasons, including your hormone levels, where you are in your menstrual cycle, how stressed you are, and what medication you’re on. The natural lubrication levels of the penis can also vary, and dryness in anyone is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about – so lube up and enjoy the ride! If you do have any concerns then visit a medical professional for advice.
- It’s ideal for anal sex
Unlike the vagina or penis, the anus often doesn’t provide adequate natural lubrication during sex. Apply lube liberally during foreplay for a relaxing effect, during anal intercourse itself, or while you’re using anal sex toys for a more pleasurable experience all around.
- It can make sex safer
Lube reduces friction, so lessens your risk of injury during sex. And if you’re using condoms, lube also makes it less likely that it’ll break or fall off, therefore increasing your protection against STIs including HIV. Using the more common latex condoms? Just ensure you’re using a water- or silicone-based lube, as other types may cause the condom to break down. And keep in mind that lube is not a contraceptive, so make sure you’re using the relevant methods of preventing pregnancy.