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HIV and AIDS

Are Condoms Efficient In Preventing STDs?

12/03/2001

Question:

I recently found out that my husband of 19 years has been having sex with a variety of women from personal ads. He has used a condom when he has sex with me and I don`t know if I can contract any diseases through salivia from kissing or sexually even though we have always used a condom. Please advise.

Answer:

The use of condoms greatly reduces, but does not completely prevent the transmission of STDs. The purpose of a condom is to block the exchange of bodily fluids during intercourse. Condoms are for sure not 100% effective and leakage and breakage are always possible. Also, if there is exchange of fluids during orogenital contact, there is a risk of STDs transmission. The transmission of STDs through kissing with exchange of saliva is well documented, but is much less efficient. Notice that this answer is given in terms of probabilities. I would suggest that you as well as your husband be seen by your physician and perhaps be tested for the presence of STDs, so the issue goes from probability to factual information.

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Response by:

Francisco   Gomez, MD Francisco Gomez, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati