The best way to prevent HIV infection is:
The primary reason that condoms fail to prevent HIV/STD infection or pregnancy is incorrect or inconsistent use, not failure of the condom itself. Consistent use means using a condom with each act of anal, vaginal, or oral sex.
Correct condom use includes all of the following steps:
- Use a new condom for each act of vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
- Use the condom throughout sex- from start to finish.
- Put on the condom as soon as erection occurs and before any vaginal, anal, or oral contact with the penis.
- Hold the tip of the condom and unroll it onto the erect penis, leaving space at the tip of the condom, yet ensuring that no air is trapped in the condom’ s tip.
- Adequate lubrication is important to prevent condom breakage, but use only water-based lubricants, such as glycerine or lubricating jellies available at any pharmacy. NEVER use oil-based lubricants such as petroleum jelly, cold cream, hand lotion, or baby oil, which can weaken the condom.
- Withdraw from the partner immediately after ejaculation, holding the condom firmly to the base of the penis to keep it from slipping off.
- Condom users should make sure that the condom expiration date has not passed or the manufacturing date does not indicate the condom is too old (if the package is not opened, condoms are good up to 5 years after the manufacture date).
Condoms Users Have Plenty of Options
There are several types of condoms. Nearly all types offer protection against HIV and other STDs.
Condoms that Offer Protection From HIV & STDs
- Latex Condoms for Men Latex condoms are made of a particular kind of rubber. Laboratory studies show that intact latex condoms provide a highly effective barrier to sperm and micro-organisms, including HIV and the much smaller hepatitis B virus. Their effectiveness has been proven over many years.Use only water-based lubricants with latex condoms.
- Synthetic Condoms For people who are allergic to latex, several new types of materials are being used to make condoms. One new type is polyurethane, a soft plastic. Another new type is Tactylon TM, a synthetic latex. Lab tests have shown that both these materials provide an effective barrier against sperm, bacteria, and viruses such as HIV.
- Polyurethane Condoms for Women The female condom (Reality TM) fits inside the vagina and covers some of the area outside of the vagina. It also is made of polyurethane. When a male condom cannot be used, couples should consider using a female condom.