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Myth or Truth: Can We Give Up Condoms?

Myth or Truth: Can We Give Up Condoms?


Today's myth or truth: Does PrEP mean we can dispense with condoms?

Editor's Note: There are, unfortunately, many myths going around about pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP  — the use of an antiretroviral drug by HIV-negative people to prevent them from being infected with HIV during sex. This month we’ll look at one myth per day and offer evidence why it’s not true.

Myth: We can all give up condoms now because we have PrEP.

Truth: Anyone who advocates this is being ridiculous. PrEP is an additional means of preventing HIV transmission, and part of the reason it's important is that people don't always use condoms correctly or consistently, that they sometimes break, and that sometimes it's difficult to negotiate condom use. But no reputable health expert or organization is advocating that people stop using condoms because we have another method. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends use of both methods and rightly so. Also, PrEP does not prevent the transmission of other sexually transmitted infections. In addition, some people may not be able to adhere to a daily pill schedule and find condom use a better method. Getting the word out about PrEP is not the same as telling people to cease using condoms.

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Katie Peoples