Condoms Work. Period.
When used correctly and consistently, condoms are highly effective in preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Studies show that for people living with HIV, using latex condoms can keep them from getting other STDs, which can be more challenging to treat. They can also help prevent transmission from an HIV-positive partner to an HIV-negative partner. All evidence points to condoms as the best protection against HIV.
Simply put, latex condoms provide a barrier to HIV infection. HIV and other STDS are passed when an infected person’s urethra or vagina come in contact with a partner’s mucosal surfaces, such as the male urethra, vagina or cervix. Condoms block the pathway of STD pathogens by protecting the wearer’s penis and a sex partner’s skin, genital secretions and mucosal surfaces. This prevents sexual transmission and acquisition of HIV and certain STDs.
Remember, HIV prevention from condoms is most effective when they are used consistently and correctly. So, always use a condom the right way, every time you have sex. For even more protection, you and/or your partner can take other preventive methods like PrEP. Learn more about what PrEP does and how you can get it here.
It’s easy to get condoms—we’ll deliver them to you for free! Sign up at the form below
Types of Condoms
A male condom is a thin sheath placed over the erect penis. They are simple to use, inexpensive and widely available. The most common type of male condom is made of latex, which is the most effective material at preventing HIV infection and transmission.
If you’re allergic to latex, look for brands that use polyurethane. This material is a great alternative to latex. Do not use animal skin condoms, which will not protect against HIV or other STDs.
This non-latex condom can be inserted vaginally or anally. It can be inserted for up to eight hours before sexual intercourse.
Reminder: Don’t use male and female condoms at the same time! One can stick to the other and pull it out of place or tear it.
Dos and Don’ts
Make sure you’re using condoms the right way every time you have sex.
- DO use a condom every time you have sex.
- DO put on a condom before having sex.
- DO read the package and check the expiration date.
- DO make sure there are no tears or defects.
- DO store condoms in a cool, dry place.
- DO use latex or polyurethane condoms.
- DO use a water-based or silicone-based lubricant to prevent breakage.
- Do put a new condom on each time you switch between oral, vaginal and anal sex.
- Do use condoms on sex toys and change them, especially if you’re sharing toys.
- Do carry condoms with you all the time – it’s great to be prepared.
- DON’T store condoms in hot places like your car or wallet.
- DON’T use nonoxynol-9 (a spermicide), as this can cause irritation.
- DON’T use oil-based products like baby oil, lotion, petroleum jelly, or cooking oil because they will cause the condom to break.
- DON’T use more than one condom at a time.
- DON’T reuse a condom.
- DON’T use a condom that is torn or outdated.
- DON’T use your teeth or sharp object to open a condom wrapper.
- DON’T flush used condoms down the toilet.
Have the Talk—It’s Worth It
Having sex with condoms can decrease the stress around getting or transmitting HIV and STDs, which means you can relax and focus on the great parts of sex! But we know talking about safe sex can feel strange at first. That’s why we want to share some guidance on how to talk to your partner about condoms and safe sex.
Here are some conversation starters to help you talk about condoms with your partner:
- “Just so you know, it’s really important to me that we use protection.”
- “I always use condoms with my partners – it’s the best way to protect us both.”
- “I don’t want to assume anything, but if we do end up having sex, I want to make sure we’re safe.”
- “Before this goes any further, I just want to check in—do you have condoms, or do we need to go to the store?”
- “Your condoms or mine?”
- “Which condoms do you prefer? I’m buying.”
- “I feel at my most free and sexy when I’m using condoms with my partner.”
- “I know we’ve been talking about going further, so I just wanted to let you know I was tested for STIs recently. When were you last tested?”
- “I feel like now might be a good time to talk about safer sex.”
- “I know myself, and I’m going to be stressed out and enjoy myself less if we don’t use condoms.”
Just as it’s important to know the risks of HIV, it’s also important to know your own boundaries when it comes to your sexual health. If your partner resists the idea of condoms or tells you they haven’t been tested—how will you be comfortable moving forward? If you think about these situations beforehand, it will be easier for you to respond in the moment. But whether you’re in a relationship or you don’t know your partner as well, try to talk about condoms sooner, rather than later.
Remember, you are in control of your body and your health. You can ALWAYS say no.
Get Condoms Mailed to You for Free
Ready to make condoms a part of your healthy sex life? Our Free Condom Project sends you free condoms discreetly to your home or preferred address.
It’s easy to sign up! Here’s how it works:
- We can send condoms to anyone over 16 years old who lives in Cobb or Douglas counties. If you live outside these counties or are not above the age of consent, we cannot provide you with condoms.
- You can place an order every 30 days or sign up for an automatic monthly refill.
If you are a business or organization in need of condoms, please contact 770.514.2815.
Want to stop your subscription? If you have already signed up for the free condom program and want to end your subscription, please contact Eric Andrews at email@example.com.
We want you to be protected every time you have sex. Fill out the form below to get condoms delivered to you free of charge!