Condoms & Femidoms
Condoms and Femidoms (the female condom) are the only contraceptive methods that can reduce the risk of HIV transmission during sex and also prevent people who are living with HIV from being exposed to a different strain of HIV that may complicate their health and future HIV treatment.
If used correctly and consistently, condoms and femidoms can be an efective barrier to other sexually transmited infections (STIs) including chlamydia, gonnorhea and syphilis.
However, it is important to know how to use them correctly as the majority of condom/ femidom failure is due to user error.
The following videos show how to correctly use condoms and femidoms:
Male Condom Video
Click here to download a pictoral guide to using a male condom
Female Condom Video
Click here to download a pictoral guide to using a Female condom
Condoms and Oral Sex
Oral sex involves sucking or licking the vagina, penis or anus. Some men and women (gay and straight) choose to do this as part of their sex life, and others don’t.
There’s a risk of getting or passing on STIs if you’re giving or receiving oral sex. It’s thought that the risk of passing on or getting HIV during oral sex is low. The risk is higher if there are any cuts or sores in the mouth, genitals or anus.
You can make oral sex safer by using a condom because it acts as a barrier between the mouth and the genitals. A dam (a square of very thin soft latex) across the anus or female genitals can also protect against infection.
Condoms are available in different flavours, but you can use any kind of condom during oral sex.
Free Condoms / Femidoms
Free condoms and femidoms are available in Sheffield from the following places:
- Department of GU Medicine at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital
- Sheffield Contraception and Sexual Health Service
- Youth Clinic and Young People’s Outreach Service
- Some GP practices
- Sheffield Walk-In-Centre
Visit www.sheffieldsexualhealth.nhs.uk for further information.
When Condoms / Femidoms break during sex
If a condom or femidom breaks, splits or comes off during sex, you may be worried about getting pregnant or passing on the HIV virus to your partner/ becoming infected with HIV.
If you are concerned that a condom or femidom failure may have put your partner or yourself at risk of HIV infection, you may want to consider accessing PEP treatment. PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) treatment is a short course of anti-HIV drugs which may be able to lower the risk of HIV transmission. This treatment needs to be started as soon as possible and definitely within 72 hours of unprotected sex.
You can find more information about PEP and where to access this in Sheffield on our PEP Treatment page.
However, it is important to know that if someone has an undetectable viral load and they do not have any other sexually transmitted infections, the chances of passing on HIV in these circumstances are low.