Practiced Safe Sex But Still Got STD….See Reasons?
The research is clear about the efficacy of condoms. Condoms are highly effective against the most dangerous of sexually transmitted infections—HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. They are also effective against unintended pregnancy as well as against gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis. Condoms use is also associated with a lower rate of cervical cancer, an HPV-associated disease. It is vital that sexually active youth have access to condoms to protect their health and their lives.
However, the last eight years have seen ultra-conservative, far-right ideologues attacking condoms and their effectiveness, while at the same time making the outrageous claim that providing young people with information about condoms leads them to have sex.
Analysis and Talking Points
According to the CDC, NIH, and all of the leading medical associations in this country, condoms are highly effective in preventing HIV infection and reduce the risk of pregnancy and a number of sexually transmitted infections. Yet, the United States has spent over $1 billion in federal and state funds on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that suppress information about the health benefits of using condoms.
Numerous studies have shown that providing young people with information about condoms does not lead to increased sexual activity. This is a fact.
Abstinence is the only way to guarantee staying 100 percent safe. Yet, condoms are by far the best protection for anyone who is sexually active. More than 70 percent of school-based health centers in America are prohibited from providing condoms to sexually active students. Given the fact that each day more than 25,000 American youth get an STI, more than 2,000 become pregnant, and as many as 55 contract HIV, such policies defy common sense and sound public health practice.
Clearly, it is time to get over any “condom phobia” and promote the health benefits of this effective and inexpensive medical device.
Here are some benefits unique to condoms
Condoms are inexpensive
Condoms do not cost much if anything. Most come in packs which usually cost less than $20. Some programs or clinics supply them at no cost at all.
Condoms are readily accessible
They do not require any doctor appointments or prescriptions and can be purchased over the counter at any grocery store, pharmacy, or even gas stations.
Condoms are convenient
Condoms are small in size, easily concealed, and ready for immediate use. They require no preparation prior to use.
There is no delay in fertility after their use
Condoms are a good option for those couples who are not wanting to get pregnant right away but may want a family very soon. They are a highly reversible birth control option.
STDs You Can Get While Wearing A Condom
Some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be transmitted or contracted even if a condom is worn during intercourse. STDs that are spread by skin-to-skin contact can still be spread when a condom is used during sex. This happens when an STD on the skin is exposed to parts of an infected part of the partner’s body that is not covered by a condom.
Condoms act as a barrier to STDs that are found in bodily fluids like semen, vaginal fluids and blood by either containing the fluids if the individual wearing the condom is infected, or protecting the individual who is wearing the condom from an infected partner. This goes for whether or not a male or female condom is being used.
Only condoms that are manufactured for STD prevention are considered suitable to prevention in the FDA’s eyes. Natural condoms, like those made of lambskin, are not safe for preventing STDs; their pores are too small to allow sperm cells to pass through, but viruses and bacteria can permeate the pores and spread. Learn more about the different types of condoms here.
STDs that can be contracted while using a condom include:
HPV (human papillomavirus)
HPV is the most common STI; there are over 100 strains of the virus. Some strains of HPV go unnoticed and seem to cause no symptoms at all, while others can cause genital warts or various cancers. Because genital warts can be on parts of the genitals that are not covered by a condom, especially female condoms, HPV can be spread via skin-to-skin contact. What’s worse– there is no male STD test for HPV and many cases show no symptoms, so it is often passed on unknowingly to partners.
Genital herpes is a viral STD that typically results in sores or lesions on the genitals, anus or upper thighs. A case of either HSV-1 or HSV-2 is called genital herpes when it affects the genitals or the genital area. Since lesions or sores can occur on parts of the genital region that is exposed during condom use, it can be spread from partner to partner.
Syphilis is a highly contagious bacterial infection that spreads through sexual contact, including oral, vaginal, and anal sex. Syphilis sores occur at the infection site, and can be contracted by a partner via skin-to-skin contact regardless of condom use.
Pubic lice, also known as crabs, are Pthirus pubis that infect the genitals. These lice are most common among teens and are typically spread during sexual, skin-to-skin contact. Pubic lice can live among pubic hair and can spread whether a condom is used or not.
Molluscum contagiosum causes small red or pink raised bumps to form on the body. These firm bumps are typically painless and can sometimes appear as small dimples. When they occur on the genitals from skin-to-skin contact with an infected individual, and they are considered an STI.
The most common problems associated with condoms are breakage during use and improper knowledge on how to use condoms. These problems can lead to pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV.
Parents of adolescents often are concerned that distribution of condoms leads to increased sexual activity. However, a study of 4,100 high school students published in the June 2003 issue of the American Journal of Public Health found that students who had access at school to condoms and instructions on their proper use were no more likely to have sexual intercourse than students at schools without condom distribution programs.
Condoms do a pretty good job of protecting against HIV, gonorrhea and chlamydia (although not 100%) during vaginal sex, but do a poor job of protecting against herpes, HPV and syphilis, as well as pubic lice. Also, pretty much every STI can be passed through oral sex except HIV which is rarely passed – and a lot of people forget or don’t use condoms during oral sex. While Didi is not a proponent of abstinence, it’s always important to be aware of the risks!