If you use them the right way every time you have sex, condoms are highly effective in preventing HIV infection. But it’s important to educate yourself about how to use them the right way.
Condoms can also help prevent other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) you can get through body fluids, like gonorrhea and chlamydia. However, they provide less protection against STDs spread through skin-to-skin contact, like human papillomavirus or HPV (genital warts), genital herpes, and syphilis.
There are two main types of condoms: male and female.
Yes, because lubricants can help prevent condoms from breaking or slipping.
Water-based and silicon-based lubricants are safe to use with all condoms. Oil-based lubricants and products containing oil, such as hand lotion, Vaseline, or Crisco, should not be used with latex condoms because they can weaken the condom and cause it to break. It is safe to use any kind of lubricant with nitrile female condoms. But lubricants containing nonoxynol-9 should not be used because nonoxynol-9 irritates the lining of the vagina and anus and increases the risk of getting HIV.
Circumcised men are less likely than uncircumcised men to get HIV from HIV-positive female partners.
Circumcision is a surgical procedure in which the foreskin surrounding the penis is partially or completely removed, exposing the glans.
Studies have shown that male circumcision is one of the most effective ways to prevent HIV advance. When the foreskin is retracted, the glans is covered by a fine, mucous surface that is not as resistant as normal body skin, and prone to suffering microscopic lesions imperceptible to the human eye. These lesions are an easy access for the virus. When the foreskin is removed, the glans surface becomes more resistant.
Aside from diminishing risk of HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea and human papilloma virus transmission in men, the circumcision can diminish risk in developing cervical cancer in women who have sex with circumcised men.
No. There is currently no vaccine that will prevent HIV infection or treat those who have it.