National Condom Week

Tomorrow, 18thMay is National Condom Week. Okay, so there may not be a parade through the streets with a 12 foot condom being held aloft the revellers waving condoms on sticks to celebrate the day, but it’s still very important to flag up the safe sex message.

If you are sexually active, particularly if you have multiple sexual partners, then condoms should be included in your play.

Lesbians should be aware of the risk of sharing sex toys without a condom. Reaserch has shown there may be an incresed risk of cervical cancer through the use of sharing sex toys. The risk is reduced for ‘gold-star lesbians’, re: never had sex with a man. However, 80% of gay girls still have penetrative sex with men, meaning that gold-star or not, lesbians are at risk if they choose not to use a condom on their toys during sex.

Despite the ongoing campaigns about HIV, infection rates continue to rise among gay men, particularly those in the 18-30 age bracket. This may be down to people believing that HIV can now be controlled through drug treatments, but these in turn can lead to other health problems over time. Past ad campaigns that tried to put you off sex all together, But with the steady rise in infection rates, it is plain to see this hasn’t worked, neither for many of us does the thought of abstaining from sex for good.

Unfortunately there is no such thing as 100% safer sex, but using a new condom correctly every time you have anal sex or using them on your sex toys is your best chance of preventing the spread of HIV or any one of the other sexual transmitted diseases.  If up until now you have given the idea of using condoms the brush off, here are a few ideas to get you into the habit of using them.

Be prepared! If you are going on a night out, carry a couple of condoms with you.

Like many things in life, condoms come in different sizes; try different ones on, best to do this in the privacy of your own home rather than in aisle three of Boots.

Opening a condom can be tricky, try not to use your teeth, you may damage the condom. If possible partly open it before you play. If you are finding it difficult push the condom into one corner and rip the wrapper open. 

 Putting a condom on in the heat of the moment can take the heat out of the moment; instead make it part of your sexual play, involve your partner.

 Don’t roll the condom out and try and put it on, it will fill with a pocket of air and most likely split. Instead, put it in place, squeeze the tip of the condom (if there is one) and roll it down to the base.

Don’t do what a friend of mine once did and use the congealed fat from the frying pan; always use a water based lube. If you have been using oil based products to massage etc, then move playtime to the shower, soap up and dry off before you continue your play with condoms.

While on the subjects of sex toys, if you are going to share dilldos etc then wash and dry them in between use, or better still have your own.

There is no such thing as 100% safer sex, condoms can split or slip off. In this case you may be able to prevent HIV developing by taking a course of PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis). The course of treatment (about a month) is available from your local GUM clinic. If you can’t get to your local GUM clinc, then you could try the A & E department who may be able to offer the treatment. There are no guarantees of HIV not developing, but if taken soon after possible infection and within 72 hours, then there is every chance that the virus can be stopped. For more information on PEP and condom use check out the THT website

So, if you’re not in the habit of using condoms, start today with the promise to yourself that you will use one each and every time you have sex.

Posted on by Glenn Stevens in Brighton & Hove, Health, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Leisure, LGBT, THT, Zhoosh 1 Comment

One Response to National Condom Week

  1. Will Blesch

    Excellent post. I recently wrote an article that speaks about HIV prevention in Gay men, because the rates have continued to rise over the past few years, just as you noted in your article here.

    I think this is due to a number of factors including an attitude (that a gay acquaintance told me about) among the younger guys in the gay community that suggests they should purposefully expose themselves to HIV positive partners. When I asked in amazement why they would do something so dangerous and risky, I was told that they do it because, “if enough people are infected, a cure will be found faster.”

    I couldn’t believe what faulty reasoning this was. So, anything that promotes safety and prevention is GOOD in my book.


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