Condoms have been the cornerstone of HIV and STI prevention for the past 40 years. They remain an important part of the HIV prevention toolkit.
What is it?
A condom is a physical barrier worn on your or someone else’s cock while having sex, including anal, vaginal and front-hole sex.
How does it work?
Condoms work as barriers that prevent bodily fluids from transferring from one person to another during sex. HIV and some other STIs may be present in some bodily fluids.
Condoms only work when used correctly every time you have sex.
How do I use it?
Condoms are worn on your or your partner’s cock while having sex and then removed afterwards. To use a condom correctly, you need to know the right way to put one on and take one off. Check out this video for more information.
Watch the video on how to use a condom from the New Zealand AIDS Foundation.
How do I get them?
You can get condoms from pharmacies, supermarkets, sexual health centres, and some HIV/AIDS organisations.
Are they for me?
Condoms are widely available, affordable and fully compatible for use with all other HIV prevention methods. Using condoms correctly every time for all types of sex is also the best form of STI prevention currently available.
While condoms are typically reliable, they can sometimes slip or break. If this happens, or if a condom doesn’t get used, know about PEP for helping prevent HIV when it’s needed.
If you don’t use condoms every time you have sex, discuss with your doctor if PrEP could be right for you.
Condoms and STIs
Recent research has shown that although condoms are an important option for preventing HIV and other STIs, that using condoms will not always protect you from bacterial STIs.
This is because some bacterial STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis can be transmitted through oral sex, rimming (oral-anal contact) and even deep kissing. If you regularly use condoms to prevent HIV and other STIs it is very important to be checked regularly so that any STIs you might pick up can be diagnosed and treated quickly.
Condoms are an important part of HIV prevention
- Condoms are for single-use only;
- If in a group sex session, use a new condom for every new partner;
- Use condoms if sharing sex toys. Put a new condom on the toy anytime it is going from one playmate to another;
- Oil-based lubricants can affect latex-based condoms so it is best to use water-based lubricant;
- Keep condoms close by the bed or keep some on you so that in the heat of the moment you can easily grab them whether you are at your place, his place, or somewhere else.
Condoms are the best protection against STIs