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What does "Bad usage of condoms" really means?


As I have read before, condoms are only 80% to 98% effective in HIV prevention. I have read too that the probability of failure is directly related to "wrong usage of condoms", but what does that mean? can I translate that statement to: "If the condom is used in the correct use date (expire date), it doesn't break or slip, am I fully covered (100%)? and how can I be sure that any of the previous affirmations did´t happened during sex (Break or slip, expire date is obvious)? I Mean, If i fill them with water after sex and can´t see any water leakage means that the condom was 100% ok? and does the condom have to slip all the way out or just a little to consider it have failed?. In a few words, If the condom wasn't expired, if I used before any contact (oral, vaginal or anal), used different condoms for oral and vaginal (same brand, was equally careful with both) used enough lube, it remained around the 90% of my penis the whole time (when I took my penis out it slipped but just a bit, like 1 cm) and after sex I filled the condom with water to verify that it didn't break (and it didn't), the posibility to cath HIV is 0%?



Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about how to properly use a male condom. Vaginal or anal sex with a condom is considered to be a low risk activity. It is considered to be low risk because there is a potential for HIV transmission because they involve an exchange of body fluids. From the information given, we cannot say that the possibility to acquire HIV through protected vaginal sex is 0%. Abstinence is the only 100% effective HIV prevention option. Condoms are highly effective (80% or greater) when used correctly in preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections so please do continue to use condoms during sex.

Please consider the following links for more information on correct condom use.

  • Condoms for the prevention of HIV transmission: https://www.catie.ca/en/fact-sheets/prevention/condoms
  • Male Condom Use: https://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/male-condom-use.html

Regards, AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Ashley