Celebrate International Condom Day with Dr Sindi as she answers 4 condom-related questions

International Condom Day

Before you get ready for Valentine’s day, join us in celebrating International Condom Day which is an opportunity to remind lovers that intimacy and romance originate from trust and care and safer-sex practices which are important in providing protection in your sexual relationship.

In celebration of International Condom Day, Dr Sindi answers 4 condom related questions

Dr Sindi van Zyl is an HIV clinician and a patients’ rights activist who answers all your HIV/Aids-related questions, as well as gives relationship advice in our monthly print mag which is available at your nearest store nationwide. In celebration of International Condom Day, we looked back at some of the condom-related questions our readers ahve asked.

1. We used a condom before ejaculation

“I am a 25-year-old, HIV-positive woman with an undetectable viral load. I recently had sex with my partner, but we used a condom only when he was about to ejaculate. What are the risks of doing this?” – Zama, Pretoria

Dear Zama: If someone is living with HIV, but with an undetectable viral load and taking ARVs properly, the risk of HIV transmission is negligible. Transmission takes place when there is an exchange of bodily fluids. Condom use is all or nothing. You cannot use a condom only for ejaculation; you  have to put it on before penetration. Your partner needs to go for an HIV  test.

2. Female Condoms

“I am HIV negative, and would like to start using female condoms. But I cannot find any information on them. What is the difference between the male and female condom, and where can I buy them?” – Anonymous

Dear Anonymous: The female condom is a barrier contraceptive, just like the male one. It prevents sperm from entering the uterus, thus preventing pregnancy. It also provides protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It is made out of synthetic latex, so it is good for women with latex allergies. It is a soft, loose-fitting pouch with two rings at either end. One ring is inserted into the vagina while the other end hangs out and covers the labia majora. The convenient thing is that it can be inserted up to eight hours before intercourse. It is available at most public sector facilities.

Are Female Condoms For Single Use?

“Last month, I read the advice you gave a reader about female condoms. My question is; should I change the condom every time I have penetrative sex with my partner?” – Anonymous

Dear Anonymous: Yes, female condoms are for single use. After ejaculation, the condom must be pulled out of the vagina, tied up and disposed of safely. We do not encourage reuse because you risk spillage of semen. This place you at risk of pregnancy and STIs.

Condom Slips Off

“I am a 20-year-old male student and have recently started having safe sex with m,y girlfriend. But during sex, the condom slips off. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong; please help. – Anonymous

Dear Anonymous: It is very important to use condoms correctly and consistently to prevent pregnancy and STIs. The male condom has a tip that must be gripped as you roll it down the penis. Gripping this tip ensures that no air gets inside the condom. If you don’t do this, it will slip off during sex. Well done for having safe sex!

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