Does effective condom use eliminate risk of HIV?

Condoms are barriers that prevent transmission of HIV virus and other microbes from coming in direct contact with the genital mucosa of the person using it. They are also useful in preventing unwanted pregnancy.

Dear Doctor,

Does effective condom use totally eliminate the risk of catching HIV/AIDS? Musa

Dear Musa,

Condoms are barriers that prevent transmission of HIV virus and other microbes from coming in direct contact with the genital mucosa of the person using it. They are also useful in preventing unwanted pregnancy. Condoms may be externally used by men or internally used by women. If used correctly and consistently, they are effective in reducing the risk of catching HIV. But if the condom ruptures or breaks during intercourse, the risk of catching HIV does occur and is a great risk.

A person may have been using a condom regularly, but if he indulges in one act of unprotected sex he exposes himself to the risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV.

As such condoms made of latex or polyurethane are better in this regard. If it does not break or rupture, the risk of acquiring HIV through protected sex is minimal, about 95-98%. It is also important to use a condom till ejaculation, removing it before that, negates the very purpose of using it.

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