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Anal sex and AIDS

May 15, 2002

Do you think that anal sex puts you at higher risk of AIDSs? I read that you should not use lubricants becuase they weaken the rubber in the condom, but don't they reduce the risk of tearing?

Response from Mr. Kull

Using water-based lubricants will actually not weaken the latex in the condom; in fact, using water-based lubricants can decrease the likelihood of tearing or breakage because the lubrication decreases friction on the condom. Using oil-based lubrication can decrease the effectiveness of the condom, increasing the likelihood of exposure to infections.

Having unprotected anal sex with an HIV infected person puts one at significant risk for infection. Unprotected anal sex is an efficient means to transmit HIV. Using a latex condom GREATLY decreases the risk of transmission.

Condom manufacturers do not study the effectiveness of condoms for anal sex. However, research studies have demonstrated that latex condoms, when used correctly and consistently, are highly effective in preventing the transmission of HIV during anal sex.


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