Frequently Asked Questions about Condoms
Can condoms provide protection from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV?
Yes. condoms are very effective in preventing HIV and many other STIs when used correctly every time you have sex. Some STI’s are on the surface of the genitals e.g. Human Papillomavirus (HPV), or the sores from genital herpes, can only be prevented when the condom covers the infected areas or sores.
Is there a 100% effective way to prevent sexual transmission of HIV and STIs?
The only 100% effective way to prevent sexual transmission of HIV and STDs is through abstinence (avoiding all vaginal, anal and oral sex). Using a latex male condom or a female condom can greatly reduce the risk of transmission of these infections, but does not entirely eliminate, the risk of HIV and STI transmission. Abstinence is the only method to completely eliminate the possibility of sexual transmission of HIV or STDs.
Do birth control methods other than condoms reduce the risk of STIs including HIV?
No. Only condoms reduce the risk of pregnancy, STIs and HIV (double protection). Birth control pills (LEVOFEM AND POSTPILL), contraceptive injections (SAYANA PRESS), intrauterine devices (LYDIA IUDs), implants (JADELLE), and any birth control methods other than condoms do not provide protection against STIs and HIV. You should use a condom for STI and HIV prevention along with any other method you use to prevent pregnancy.
What is the correct way to use a condom?
To use a condom correctly follow the below steps:
- Store condoms in a cool place, out of direct sunlight. Check the expiration date on the condom pouch or box. Condoms that are past their expiration date may break, so dispose.
- Open the package carefully. Teeth, fingernails, jewelleries or scissors can rip the condom.
- Put on the condom after the penis is hard. If the penis is not circumcised, pull back the foreskin before putting on the condom.
- Pinch the tip of the condom to leave a little space (about a half inch) at the top to collect semen. Unroll the condom all the way down the penis. You can add a little bit of water-based lubricant to the outside of the condom but it’s not compulsory.
- After ejaculation, hold the rim of the condom and pull out the penis while it is still hard, so that no semen spills out.
- Use a new condom every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex.
Do sex partners who both have HIV need to use condoms?
Yes. People who have HIV still need protection from STIs and whenever they want to prevent pregnancy. Condoms also protect against exposure to different types, or strains, of HIV from your partner. Re-infection or superinfection with a new strain of HIV may make the disease progress more quickly and may require the use of medicines different from the ones used to treat the original strain.
Are thinner Condoms More likely to break?
No. Thin condoms of good quality (like Fiesta Ultra-Thin) have also being tested to prevent breaking. The thickness of the condom doesn't necessarily correspond to safety, it is more about increasing sensation for both partners. Please make sure to read the condom description and use a quality brand like Fiesta.
Can you Use Flavored Condoms for Both Oral and Vaginal Sex?
Fiesta strawberry and chocolate flavored condoms are intended primarily for vaginal sex. However, if you choose to use them in oral sex, the lubricant is safe if ingested. To avoid transferring infection from mouth to vagina and vice-versa, we recommend if used in oral sex that a new condom be used for vaginal sex.
Is It Safe to Use Condoms Underwater or in a Shower?
There has been no research into the performance of condoms when they are used in or underwater. The risk of slippage, for example, might increase when used in such circumstances. Though the salt in seawater would not have adverse effects on condom materials, there is a strong possibility that the chemicals used in swimming pools (chlorine and ozone, for example) would. The presence of bath oils or other substances in the water or applied in the shower may have an adverse effect on the properties of the latex condom material.