Can I Stop Using Condoms While On PrEP?


Whether you decide to continue to use condoms after starting PrEP is a personal decision. Some things you might want to know about PrEP and condoms are…

It’s important to note that:

  • PrEP only prevents HIV. It does not prevent other STIs

  • Condoms are currently the only easily available method for preventing STIs

  • Condoms do a good job at preventing some STIs (like Chlamydiia, Gonorrhoea, and Siphylis) however these STIs can still be transmitted even with consistent condom use, especially through oral sex and in some instances through kissing and other body contact. [1]

  • Condoms may not be very effective at preventing some STIs like public lice, scabies, and genital warts and herpes. These STIs are transmittable in areas that a condom doesn’t cover.

As part of your PrEP strategy, you will be required to get a full STI test every three months. This means you are able to treat any STIs you do pick up very early.

Whether you use condoms or not depends on a conversation you have with your sexual partners. What do you want to do? What do they want to do?

It is possible that you may hit an impasse. If you only use PrEP and you find a partner who is only willing to use condoms – it may just be that sex does not happen. Have that conversation thoughtfully and with respect. Do not pass judgement onto another person for how they want to control their sexual health and how they have sex.

If you are connecting on dating apps, having your prevention strategies listed in your profile may help you connect easier with people who are ‘strategy’ compatible with you.

Remember, the vast majority of people get an STI from having sex at some point. STIs are a result of having a productive and fulfilling sex life.

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 [1] Effectiveness of condoms in preventing sexually transmitted infections. (United States National Institutes of Health (NIH))

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