When used properly latex condoms are very effective in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV ( during vaginal, oral or anal intercourse). Latex condoms are also a safeguard in preventing pregnancy as well as several sexually transmitted infections ( STIs). Condom use lowers women's risk of developing cervical cancer, a disease related to HIV (Genital Warts). Continuous use of condoms can also help people clear HPV infection and/or reduce the risk of re-infection.
Sexual transmission of HIV occurs when infected semen, vaginal or other body fluids contact mucosal surfaces, example male urethra, the vagina and anus. In a two year study in which one partner was HIV infected and one was not ( HIV negative) no uninfected partner became infected among couples using condom correctly and consistently at every act of vaginal, anal and oral sex. A similar two year study showed 2% uninfected partners became HIV infected, which using condoms.
A recent study in Uganda showing a decline in HIV, showed no evidence that abstinence or monogamy played a roll in the decline. Findings identified the increased use of condoms in casual relationships as paramount in Ugandas declining HIV rates.
Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and trichomoniasis are transmitted by infected semen or vaginal fluids which come in contact with musosal surfaces. Condoms block the discharge of semen and protect the male urethra against contact with vaginal secretions. Condom provide a good level of protect or against these STI's.
Condoms provide protection against genital ulcer STI's such as genital herpes,
syphilis and chancroid which are spread through mucosal surfaces or infected
skin. Because these STI's may be transmitted across skin not protected or covered
by the condom, condoms provide a lesser degree of security against them.
Almost all case of cervical cancer are caused by HPV. Over 3 million women in the United States are newly infected each year with HPV. It is estimated that 51,000 develop cervical cancer. Regular pap smears can detect pre-cancerous conditions before cervical cancer develops. This gives Doctors time to prevent cervical cancer.
In a 28 month study with 123 college women, researchers found sexually active women who used condoms consistently were much less likely to contract HPV than women who had not used condoms. In one study, men who used condoms consistently had reduced the risk for penile HPV infection. Another Study showed the men consistently using condoms had a lower incidence of anal HPV infection. One study showed men who consistently wore condoms showed a factor regression in penile HPV lesions than men who did not use condoms.
In a one year study 2% of every 100 couples using condoms consistently experienced unwanted pregnancy. That was just 2 pregnancies from an estimated 8,300 acts of sexual intercourse. Condoms are an easy, cost effective, and safe way to prevent against pregnancy. Condoms are 99.9% safe when it comes to preventing unwanted pregnancies and are also a great way to protect against any STI's you might pick up from a partner.
Reference: Center for Disease Control