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HIV

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FAQ: Why should you bother using condoms to prevent transmission when HIV is treatable?

for Veterans and the Public

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is it important to wear condoms when HIV is treatable?

Latex condoms are highly effective in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV when used consistently and correctly. In addition, the consistent and correct use of latex condoms reduce the risk of other STDs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, and to a lesser degree, genital ulcer disease such as Herpes. Condom use may also reduce the risk of genial human papillomavirus (HPV) and HPV-associated diseases, e.g. genital warts and cervical cancer.

HIV is treatable but it is a chronic infection and treatment requires taking pills every day so they will continue to work against the virus. If you get HIV, there are also other things to consider like managing medication side effects and risk of infecting other partners. So, consistent and correct use of latex condoms is recommended to prevent HIV transmission.

(See related question: If taking anti-HIV drugs has made your viral load undetectable, can you still pass the virus to another person through sex?)