Condoms and Lube
Condoms and lube are the most effective way to protect yourself from HIV and other STIs during anal or vaginal sex. This is because when used consistently and correctly during sex, latex acts as a barrier that HIV and other STIs can’t pass through.
Water or silicone-based lubricants also help by stopping the condom from ripping or coming off.
In New Zealand, gay and bisexual men are the group at highest risk of HIV and there are three key reasons for this.
Evidence suggests that condom use among gay and bisexual men in New Zealand has remained very high from 2002-2014, with over 80 percent of men reporting high rates of condom use for anal sex with casual partners.
When condoms aren’t used during sex, the risk of contracting HIV and other STIs jumps dramatically - unprotected anal intercourse between gay and bisexual men is 18 times risker than vaginal sex and the single greatest risk for HIV transmission.
For HIV and STI rates to decrease in New Zealand, men who regularly use condoms need to be supported to maintain their healthy behaviours, while others must be encouraged to increase their condom use.
Risks and considerations
- If used properly condoms are very reliable, however, they can occasionally break or slip off. It’s a good idea to check from time to time that the condom is on and that it is still intact. Check out this helpful video guide to using condoms from LYC.
- It’s important to be able to negotiate condom use if you find that a sexual partner is pressuring you to have anal or vaginal sex without them. This guide from LYC has some helpful advice for such occasions.
Got questions about condoms? We're here to help so send us your question and we'll get back to you.
- Do condoms work?
- Condoms for the prevention of HIV and STI transmission
- Condoms: Tried, tested and true?
- GAPSS/GOSS Research Brief: Infrequent condom use between casual male partners (2014)