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Effective Condom Use?
Dec 31, 2003

My husband is positive and I am negative. We went to his infectious disease doctor this week. She told us that the best way to assure my not getting infected was to NOT have Sex AT ALL. She said that condoms do not protect people from getting the virus. She said that the HIV can penetrate through and we should find alternative options for sexual intimacy. So, is she correct about the condom not protecting? What exactly is the ratio of condom use preventing HIV and causing HIV? Thank You!

Response from Dr. Remien

I have to say that I think your doctor is incorrect in what you are saying she told you. While it may be true that abstinence is the safest way of avoiding any sexually transmitted infection, this is not a desirable alternative for most people. While nobody can tell you that condoms are 100% effective in preventing transmission of HIV, another STI, or pregnancy, condoms are a highly effective preventive barrier for all of these things. I am not going to try to put a number to this because different studies and different experts will tell you a range of percent effectiveness. What I think is important to say is that consistent and correct use of condoms are very effective in preventing the transmission of HIV.


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