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Prevention
Don’t be condumb – use one!

If you’re sexually active, condoms (also called rubbers) are the only proven way of preventing STDs and HIV, or other health-related issues such as cervical cancer. Organizations around the world recommend using condoms to prevent pregnancy and HIV/STDs. Even if you (or your girlfriend) are on the pill, use condoms to prevent STD/HIV as well.

The conventional latex condom is effective when used correctly, every time you have sex.

You can buy condoms at most drugstores and grocery stores, and dispensers can often be found in public restrooms. They cost about a dollar each. The health department and some other organizations give out free condoms. Keep condoms in a cool, dry place away from heat and sunlight. Your wallet or car is too hot for storing condoms. If you do carry a condom in your wallet, replace it often. Opening and closing your wallet, not to mention the pressure from sitting on it, will weaken the condom. However, it’s better to use a condom that has been in your wallet for a long time than not to use one at all.

Check expiration dates on the condom and don’t use them if they’re expired. Old condoms can become dry and break more easily. Brittle, sticky, or discolored condoms are old and may break.

It’s important to have more than one condom because the condom may break when you put it on, or because they can only be used once.

For information about how effective condoms are, visit Siecus (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States) at The truth about condoms (PDF).

How to put on a condom

Female condoms

Dental dams

Condom do’s and don’ts

How to talk with your partner about condoms and safer sex


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