What Does A Condom Actually Protect Against
This article was published more than 10 years ago. Some information may no longer be current.
What does a condom actually protect me against?
With the increasing rate of sexually transmitted infections in Canada, your question is relevant and timely.
When used properly, condoms are very effective for protection against STIs and to prevent pregnancy.
Although they are highly reliable, they are not 100 per cent foolproof. When condoms fail, incorrect or inconsistent use – not the method itself – is usually to blame. In Canada, condoms are considered medical devices and are regulated by Health Canada to meet specific requirements for safety and effectiveness.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, “condoms used consistently and correctly provide protection against getting or spreading STIs–including HIV.” Studies have shown that condoms provide an impermeable barrier to chlamydia, gonorrhea, Hepatitis B, HIV, syphilis, herpes simplex virus and human papilloma virus .
Certain STIs, specifically HSV, HPV and syphilis can be transmitted through skin to skin contact. Condoms may work to provide a barrier to transmission of these infections, they are often harbored in skin that is not covered by the condom and as such, they can still be passed on despite use of a condom.
Condoms are still the best defense against transmission,and the reduction is substantial but not absolute.
Read more Q& As from Dr. Wijayasinghe.
to see Q& As from all of our health experts.
Is Prep Safer Than Condoms And Other Faqs About Hiv Prevention In Orlando
What is PrEP?
PrEP offers protection to people who do not have HIV and may be exposed to HIV through sex or other activities. If youre taking PrEP and exposed to HIV, these medicines can work to keep the virus from establishing an infection.
PrEP Vs. Condoms: Whats Better?
Condoms are a great way to lower your HIV risk too. They can be used during higher-risk sexual activities like anal or vaginal sex, and can also be used when sharing toys or for oral sex. You can stop by one of our locations to pick up some free condoms or call us to learn about additional local resources for free condoms.
If youre trying to choose between using condoms or PrEP, the real answer is to use both. PrEP protects against HIV, while condoms can protect against HIV and other STIs such as gonorrhea or chlamydia.
Im HIV Positive, How Can I Make Sure I Dont Give HIV To My Partner?
If youre living with HIV, you should know that you can have normal and healthy relationships and that includes having sex if you want to. There are lots of ways to avoid giving HIV to others, including the following:
- Dont share needles for piercings, tattoos, or injection drugs
- Ask your partner to talk to their doctor about PrEP
- Get tested for other STIs regularly
- Always use condoms
- Get treated for HIV and take your HIV medicine consistently
But How Well Do Contraception Methods Such As Condoms Prevent Hiv And Other Stds
Condoms are highly effective when it comes to preventing STDs. In fact, condoms are one of the most effective forms protection against HIV and other STDs, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, if used the right ways every time you have sex.
However, as per the CDC, condoms provide less protection against STDs that spread through skin-to-skin contact like human papillomavirus or HPV , genital herpes, and syphilis.
Moreover, theres still a chance that youll get HIV even if you use condoms correctly every time you have sex. Hence, its suggested take individuals at high risk take additional preventive measures, which include taking medicines to prevent and treat HIV, to further reduce their risk. So, abstinence – meaning avoiding all oral, vaginal, or anal sex – is the only way that can provide 100 per cent protection against pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.
Get the Latest health news, healthy diet, weight loss, Yoga, and fitness tips, more updates on Times Now
Don’t Miss: Hiv Causes Hair Loss
How Effective Are Condoms At Preventing Stis
Condoms are the original safer sex method because they reduce the risk of STI transmission. And condoms are also an effective method of birth control. To get the maximum benefit from condoms, make sure to use them from start to finish every time you have sex and that you choose a condom that fits well, covering the shaft from tip to base.
Why Should I Use Them
They work really well.
When used correctly, condoms provide excellent protection against HIV, pregnancy and most STIs. In fact, they are the only type of contraception that also stops you getting or giving STIs. A few STIs can be passed on simply through skin-to-skin contact , but condoms also cut the risk of many of these.
If you use a condom, you can relax and enjoy sex knowing that you and your partner are protected.
Read Also: Lil Wayne Hiv Rumors
The Rationale Of The Study
Regrettably, there are few investigations that have paid attention to the assessment of the correlates and prevalence of errors and problems that individuals may encounter when wearing condoms . In this context, errors imply those practices that result in the wrong use of the condom, such as removing during the sexual act or exposing the condom to sharp appliances, while problems are those occurrences that are not straightforwardly within the control of the user, but may reduce the efficacy of its purpose. The issues may include challenges with fit and feel, slippage, breakage and erection difficulties . Notably, neglecting to justify condom use errors and problems can result in false inferences with respect to condom efficacy or appraisal of deterrence initiatives. Besides, the suggested mistakes and problems may not only reduce the effectiveness of condoms in the mitigation of new HIV infections but may also dampen its uptake by causing frustrations or if users experience less pleasurable sex life due to them.
How Do Condoms Protect Against Stds
Condoms are most effective against STIs that spread through bodily fluids like blood, semen, and vaginal/cervical secretions because the condom is in the right position to block the exchange of fluids between partners.
Other STIs are spread through skin-to-skin contact. Condoms reduce the risk of these STIs as well, however, condoms can only provide protection when the sores or warts are in an area covered by the condom. Sores from STIs can occur in other places on the body, such as on the scrotum or vaginal lips.
Heres some more information on condoms and specific STIs:
Don’t Miss: Does Youngboy Really Have Herpes
Condoms And Antiretroviral Therapy
HIV is treated with antiretroviral drugs. These are medications that are taken daily to help prevent the virus from replicating and further weakening the immune system.
A large 2016 study looked at HIV transmission risk in 888 heterosexual and 340 MSM couples who were not using condoms. In the study, one partner was HIV-negative, and the other partner had HIV with an undetectable viral load and was taking antiretroviral drugs.
During 2 years of follow-up with 58,000 reported condomless sex acts, no HIV transmission from HIV-positive partners to HIV-negative partners was seen.
A big part of a condoms effectiveness at preventing HIV has to do with using it correctly. Now lets examine how to put on and remove a condom if you have a penis.
How Can You Get Hiv
HIV is found in the following bodily fluids of someone living with the virus:
- vaginal fluids
For you to get HIV, these bodily fluids need to get into your blood through a mucous membrane , via shared injecting equipment, or through broken skin .
There is not enough HIV virus in other bodily fluids, like saliva, sweat or urine, to transmit it from one person to another.
Someone living with HIV who has an undetectable viral load, meaning effective treatment has lowered the amount of virus in their blood to levels where it cannot be detected by a normal blood test, cannot pass on HIV.
A person living with HIV with a detectable viral load can pass the virus to others whether they have symptoms or not.
HIV is most infectious in the first few weeks after infection. At this time many people are unaware of their status.
The main ways you can get HIV are:
You May Like: How Long Does Hiv Last
More On Emergency Contraception
Confused? Planned Parenthood has a quick online quiz that can help you decide which emergency contraceptive is right for you.
Its also important to know that emergency contraceptives can prevent pregnancy, but they do not protect you against STDs.
And, finally, emergency contraception is not the same as abortion. Emergency contraception prevents pregnancy before it happens. Abortion stops a pregnancy that is already in progress.
For Latex Male Condoms:
- Put on the condom after the penis is hard. If the penis is not circumcised, pull back the foreskin before putting on the condom.
- Pinch the tip of the condom to leave a little space at the top to catch semen. Unroll the condom all the way down the penis. Add a little bit of water-based lubricant to the outside of the condom.
- After ejaculation, hold the rim of the condom and pull out the penis while it is still hard, so that no semen spills out.
- Use a new condom every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex.
Don’t Miss: Hiv Gestation Period
How Condoms Prevent Hiv
Condoms prevent HIV by blocking exposure to potentially infectious bodily fluids during sex. External condoms, when used properly, keep both semen and pre-cum contained and prevent them from reaching a persons sexual partner during anal sex, vaginal intercourse, or fellatio.
Internal condoms, also known as female condoms, protect the vagina from semen and pre-cum and the penis from exposure to vaginal secretions.
Lambskin condoms may have pores that are large enough for the virus to pass through. They should only be used for pregnancy prevention by mutually monogamous couples who have both tested negative for HIV and other STIs.
Do Birth Control Methods Other Than Condoms Reduce The Risk Of Stds Including Hiv
No. Only condoms reduce the risk of pregnancy, STDs and HIV. Birth control pills, the birth control patch, contraceptive injections such as Depo-Provera, intrauterine devices , diaphragms, and any birth control methods other than condoms do not provide protection against STDs and HIV. You should use a latex male condom or a female condom for STD and HIV prevention along with any other method you use to prevent pregnancy. Condoms can prevent the spread of other STDs, like HPV or genital herpes, only when the condom covers all of the infected area or sores.
Recommended Reading: How Long Does Hiv Stay Dormant
Do Male And Female Condoms Provide The Same Protection Against Hiv
Yes. Studies show that female condoms are as effective at protecting against HIV as male condoms. Female condoms are made of nitrile, which is an effective barrier to HIV. Male and female condoms should not be used at the same time. Female condoms, like latex male condoms, are available in some drug stores, community health centers, and AIDS service organizations.
What Are Hiv And Aids
- HIV is a virus that attacks and weakens a person’s immune system. The immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body and fight off germs and diseases.
- If the immune system of an HIV-positive person gets so weak that it can no longer fight off a range of health problems it would normally be able to cope with, the person is considered to have AIDS.
- HIV can be passed from person to person through blood, semen, vaginal fluids, breast milk and other body fluids. It can happen:
- When a person has sex with someone who has the HIV virus and they do not use a condom
- When people exchange infected needles or syringes
- During pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding, when an HIV-positive mom can pass the virus to her baby .
You May Like: Hiv Screen 4th Generation Wrfx Reactive
How Soon Can I Get Tested For Stds After The Condom Broke
Most STDs will show up on tests 2 to 3 weeks after youre exposed. With some types of HIV tests, it takes up to 3 months for detection.
Remember that STDs often dont have any symptoms. So testing is the only way to be sure you dont have one.
Condoms, even unbroken ones, don’t do a good job at protecting you from STDs like HPV, herpes, and syphilis. If youre having oral, anal, or vaginal sex, you should consider getting tested regularly even if you never have a condom break.
How To Use Condoms If You Have A Vagina
Condoms are also available for people with a vagina. These products are often called internal condoms or female condoms.
Studies have suggested that internal condoms have a similar effectiveness to external condoms. However, so far, no studies directly compare the effectiveness of external and internal condoms.
Lets examine how to use internal condoms.
You May Like: Hiv Hair Loss Symptom
How Can I Prevent Hiv Transmission And Stds During Oral Sex
Although oral sex presents less of a risk for HIV and some STDs than vaginal or anal sex, the risk still exists. Herpes is commonly passed between genitals and the mouth, and you can get a bacterial infection in your mouth or throat from an STD. The risk of HIV transmission through oral sex is low, but people have been infected this way. Oral sex can be made safer by using a latex barrier. For oral sex performed on a man, a non-lubricated condom is recommended. For oral sex performed on a woman, a dental dam , a non-lubricated condom that is cut open or a plastic wrap can be used to cover the vagina. Oral-anal sex is a high-risk activity that may be made safer by using a dental dam.
Protect Yourself From Hiv/aids
HIV and AIDS in South Carolina
- In South Carolina, almost 15,000 of your neighbors including about 200 children and teens are living with HIV infection or AIDS.
- Throughout the United States, more than 1 million residents are living with HIV or AIDS, and nearly one-fifth do not know they have it.
- Each year, more than 56,000 new cases are diagnosed. An estimated 600,000 U.S. citizens have already died from the virus.*
- Worldwide, more than 60 million people, including millions of children, have been infected since the early 1980s. As many as 25 million people have died from AIDS.**
*U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.** Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
Also Check: Does Nba Youngboy Have Herpes
What Can Women Do
- Talk about it. Learn the facts about HIV, and share this lifesaving information with your family, friends, and community. Let’s Stop HIV Together, part of Act Against AIDS, has many resources for raising awareness about HIV and includes many video testimonials from people living with HIV.
- Start Doing It – getting tested for HIV . Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to help keep you and your partner healthy. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, get an HIV test as soon as possible.
The most effective way to prevent HIV is to abstain from sexual activity and injection drug use. However, if you are sexually active or use injection drugs, today there are more tools available to prevent HIV. You can:
- Use condoms the right way every time you have sex. Learn the right way to use a male condom or a female condom.
No 1 Sharing A Needle: 1 In 159
About 6 percent of the HIV diagnoses in 2015 can be attributed to the use of injection drugs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The reason is that needles, syringes, and other equipment can contain blood, and therefore HIV, which can then be directly transmitted into the bloodstream. Under the right environmental circumstances, the virus can survive in a used needle for up to 42 days, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, using drugs can lower peoples inhibitions, making them less likely to use a condom during sex or to take preventive HIV medications, further increasing their risk.
- Reduce the risk. Although the number of HIV diagnoses among people who inject drugs has declined by 48 percent from 2008 to 2014, according to the CDC, experts worry that the rising opioid epidemic is putting new people at risk for getting the virus. To find substance abuse help, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP or visit its website, findtreatment.samhsa.gov, for a list of treatment facilities near you.
- Reduce the risk. People who inject drugs can help lower their risk of exposure to HIV by using a sterile needle and syringe for each injection sterile needles can be obtained without a prescription at pharmacies and through syringe services programs at state or local health departments.
Also Check: How Long Can Hiv Be Dormant In Your System