updated 2 years ago in HIV Prevention

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It’s important to have a strategy to avoid STIs and help stop the spread of HIV.

And here’s the good news: there are options to suit you.

You can use different options in different circumstances, or even use a combination of options.

Choose the strategy that best suits your lifestyle, the sex you enjoy and your HIV status.

Your best prevention strategy against getting HIV is the one you can use consistently and correctly.

What are condoms?

A condom is a tight-fitting sheath worn over the penis, made of very thin latex (rubber) or plastic.

How do condoms work?

Condoms are a type of barrier protection. Condoms stop the transmission of HIV by preventing the transfer of semen and other body fluids (which can carry HIV and other STIs) during sex.

To prevent HIV effectively, condoms must not rip or break, and they must be used correctly every time.

What sort of protection do condoms provide?

Condoms provide effective protection against HIV.

Condoms help prevent most STIs. However, they are not effective for areas they don’t cover. It is still possible for some STIs such as syphilis, herpes (HSV) and genital warts (HPV) to spread through uncovered skin-to-skin contact.

To help protect against most STIs, use a fresh condom every time for anal sex, oral sex, and vaginal or front hole sex.

How do I use a condom?

Wear a condom on your penis or your partner’s penis during sex. Put it on before penetrative sex and take it off afterwards. Use a fresh condom every time you have sex and with every new partner during group sex.

Use plenty of water-based or silicone-based lube on the outside of the condom as well as your partner’s arse to reduce friction. This helps prevent tearing delicate skin and makes fucking smoother and more comfortable.

How to use a condom

For live-action instructions on how to put on and use condoms correctly, watch this video.

How to use a condom | Ending HIV NZ

How can I get condoms?

Condoms are available at most supermarkets and pharmacies. They come in a variety of sizes and styles.

Some sexual health services and HIV organisations offer condoms at low cost or for free.

What do I need to look out for when using condoms?

Condoms offer effective protection from HIV when used properly, but some things can reduce their effectiveness:

  • Make sure the condom has not expired. Check the expiry date on the wrapper. If it has expired, throw it away and use a fresh one.
  • Check occasionally during sex that the condom has not broken or torn.
  • Only use water-based or silicone-based lube. Oil-based lube, lotions or cooking products can damage condoms.
  • Anything sharp, including fingernails and teeth, can damage condoms. Be gentle, especially when opening the wrapper.
  • Condoms are single-use only. Never flush them down the toilet.

Are you aged 18+?

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