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Is it true teens won't use condoms the way adults use them?

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jess asks:

Is it true teens won't use condoms the way adults use them? And is it true condoms wont protect against AIDS?

Susie replies:

Second question first: Correct and consistent condom use is a highly effective way to prevent the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

    As for teens and condoms there are a few issues at hand, and most of them can be remedied with the right education and information.
  1. Teens sometimes have trouble obtaining condoms because they don't know where to get them, can't get to the stores or clinics to get them or mistakenly believe they have to be 18 to buy them (anybody can buy them at any age!).
  2. Some teens don't know how to use a condom correctly. But we have that covered at: Condom Basics: A User's Manual.
  3. Some teens are too shy or too scared to ask their partners to always use a condom. These teens don't know how to effectively communicate with their partners. But this article can help with that: Be a Blabbermouth! The Whats, Whys and Hows of Talking About Sex With a Partner
  4. Some teens are in abusive relationships where they don't have the option of using a condom. These teens need to be helped through counseling and possibly law enforcement means.

That pretty much sums up why some teens don't use condoms or don't use them correctly. These things also sometimes apply to adults. A lot of adults don't use condoms or contraception correctly, either.

For lots of great information about safety and how to bring safer sex into your relationships, check out Safe, Sound & Sexy: A Safer Sex How-To

Learn more about HIV with Positively Informed: An HIV/AIDS Roundup

written 30 Mar 2008 . updated 30 Mar 2008

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