The key function of a condom today is protection against sexually transmitted diseases, including human immune deficiency virus (HIV). It was scientifically found that immune deficiency virus may be transmitted by blood, sperm, vaginal discharge, mother’s milk and other fluids of the human body (urine, saliva, tears, and sweat). Quite a lot of time may pass from HIV ingress to AIDS development (about 15 years), and during that time a man is often unaware of being a HIV carrier and, respectively, a spreader.
A medicine against AIDS does not exist at the moment, which means that it is necessary to prevent its spreading, and condoms is the only way to combat it during sexual acts. They protect women against contact with sperm and penis discharge, as well as men — against contact with vaginal discharge and cervical fluid.
However in the last few years a view has appeared that a condom is not able to protect from HIV. The virus is considered to be able penetrate through latex micropores. Let’s try to find whether it is true.
Firstly, the human immune deficiency virus may spread with the above listed biological fluids of the body only. It means that if a condom is leak proof, the fluid containing the virus will not pass to the partner. This is the same as flu prevention for which a gauze and cotton dressing is used. This dressing, by the way, has a little bit wider “pores” than those in latex.
Secondly, in the condom latex zoomed by 30 thousand times (in this case it is possible to see particles equal in size to HIV) no pores were distinguished even with latex stretched.
Thirdly, about 400 couples took part in the condom protection features testing in Europe. In each couple one of the partners was a virus carrier, while the other was not. The test lasted for two years. 200 couples were constantly using condoms, and none of them were infected. 200 more couples were using condoms irregularly or were not using it at all, which resulted in 21 persons infected.
If the human immune deficiency virus were able to penetrate through the latex pores, it would have covered all the countries and continents and put human life under threat. After all, it is for a reason that health professionals all over the world use latex gloves for medical examinations and surgery. If the virus were able to penetrate through its pores, we would have neither doctors nor nurses today.
Thus, we come to the conclusion that a condom is a reliable means of human protection against AIDS. That is, if all its use instructions are strictly followed.
In addition to HIV protection, a condom is able to protect humans against sexually transmitted diseases: gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamidiosis, etc. The probability of contracting a venereal disease for men using condoms makes up 0 — 20%, while for women this indicator is higher. The fact that condoms provide for better protection against HIV than from venereal diseases can be explained by the fact that many STDs affect those sites of human genitals that are unprotected by condom.
It should be finally noted that it has become a trend today to use a condom as a means of protection against viral hepatitis which is also transmitted during sexual act. This is a dangerous disease, and some of its forms are difficult to diagnose. In addition, hepatitis has a long incubation period.
The use a condom is each man’s private matter. But AIDS and STDs leave us no choice, especially when a contact with a little known and unreliable partner is possible.