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Are you unsure of what Mutale should do? Are you thinking about stopping using condoms with your regular partner? Has the subject come up in your conversations? It’s a good idea to know the facts and think through your options before making any decisions.
Fast facts: Condoms and relationships
Condoms work really well at preventing HIV, pregnancy and most sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In fact, they are the only form of contraception that protect against pregnancy and STIs.
Many health clinics offer condoms free of charge to anyone who wants them, no questions asked, condoms are also available to buy in most pharmacies and many supermarkets.
You can make putting on a condom a fun part of foreplay, textured condoms can add to the pleasure for both partners, and flavoured condoms can make oral sex more fun.
Female condoms (which are placed in the vagina or anus before sex) can also be a good option for many couples and work just as well as male condoms.
Wanting to use a condom when you have sex with your partner isn’t a sign that you don’t trust them – it’s a way of showing you care and that you want to protect each other. Not using a condom is not a guarantee that you are faithful only to one another, nor does it make someone more of a man. It does, however, put you at risk of HIV, other STIs and unplanned pregnancies.
If you stop using condoms it’s a good idea to think about other contraceptives such as the pill or implant – these will not protect you from HIV and other STIs, but they will stop unplanned pregnancies. Your healthcare professional will be able to give you more information about options available where you are.
Whatever you decide to do, if you are having sex, it’s a good idea to have regular sexual health check-ups, including testing for HIV.