International Condom Day celebrations
Its time to celebrate International Condom Day. The day is commemorated globally on the 13th February to appreciate purpose of the condom. It offers dual protection against unintended pregnancy and against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) including HIV. There are two condom types, the male and female condom. Use condoms correctly and consistently for dual protection.
What is Dual Protection?
- The term dual means having a double impact or serving two purposes.
- The term protection refers to action which keeps one safe from harm or anything bad. In this case it’s keeping one safe from Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) including HIV and unintended pregnancies.
- Dual protection is therefore prevention of both STIs including HIV and unintended pregnancies at the same time.
How do you achieve Dual Protection?
- To achieve dual protection you can use the male or female condoms alone.
- Use of other family planning methods (the pill or implants) to prevent unintended pregnancies, together with condoms to prevent STIs including HIV is referred to as ‘dual method use.’
- Abstinence and/or delay of sexual debut.
- Correct and consistent condom use.
Who should use Dual Protection?
You can use Dual Protection if:
- You are sexually active.
- You are at risk of acquiring STIs including HIV because of your sexual behavior e.g. by having multiple sexual partners.
- You are HIV positive or negative.
- Your partner is HIV positive or negative.
Why is it important to use Dual Protection?
Dual Protection reduces:
- Risk of unintended pregnancy.
- Transmission of HIV between partners.
- Risk of acquiring or transmitting other STIs.
- Risk of re-infection with STIs including HIV.
What are the benefits of Dual Protection?
- Prevents unintended pregnancies
- Prevents transmission of STIs including HIV at the same time.
- Promotes couple communication.
- Provides peace of mind since you won’t worry about STIs and unintended or pregnancy.
- Is cost effective, accessible and easily available.
- Can be used by any sexually active person, whatever age.
- Does not require a prescription or doctor’s approval.
- Can be used by HIV positive and discordant couples.
- There is no drug interaction.
Important Rules for condom use
- Store condoms in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Extreme conditions of heat, light and humidity may damage condoms.
- Check the expiry date before use.
- Ensure that the packet is not damaged or ripped.
- Do not use if expired or damaged.
- Open the condom pack carefully. Do not use nails or teeth to open the pack.
- Avoid touching your partner’s body fluids with your hands and then touching your private organs when wearing the condom.
- Only use one new condom at every sexual act.
- After using the condom burn it or throw into a Pit latrine – DO NOT FLUSH IT.