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Condoms Help Prevent HIV Transmission

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.

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Types of Condoms

Male Condom

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.

The Right Way to Use a Male Condom

Internal Condom

This non-latex condom can be inserted vaginally or anally. It can be inserted for up to eight hours before sexual intercourse.

The Right Way to Use a Female (Internal) Condom

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.