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Can we trust condoms?
Apr 29, 2001

I heard that there may be invisible or intangible leakage through even intact condom. If so, these hidden leakage can cause HIV infection even though we wear condoms?

Response from Dr. Pavia

From time to time, stories circulate about how condoms are leaky and are not effective prevention tools. At one point, this was used as an argument against promoting safer sex education and was used to argue for abstinence only. This is mostly bulls---. There are many studies of discordant couples(where one is infected and the other not), straight and gay, that show that condoms are a highly effective method of prevention.

Can condoms break? You bet. Are there occasional batches or brands that have lower quality? Yup. To prevent breakage, it is important to use a good water based lube. It is also important to use condoms correctly and every time.

However, if you use them religiously (well ok, compulsively - I don't want to speculate about what religious use would be) your chances of infection are extraordinarily small.

If you have other questions about safer sex, check out the safe sex forum here on the Body.

Enjoy, and be careful


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