The Condom: What Are Your Reasons for Not Using It?
The discovery of HIV put the condom right in the center of the map. The epidemic, identified in 1981, forced the world to talk about what had been avoided for so long: intercourse. Once it was recognized that human sexuality existed and, that it manifested despite moral and social norm, it had to be recognized that the only way to contain the advance of HIV, was to literally put a barrier on it: the condom.
This way, for nearly 40 years, people have been reading, seeing and listening that the condom is the best thing that will protect them from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Its use is taught in schools (at different grades, according to each society’s criteria), in hundreds of campaigns and, even today, with the use of the internet, anyone can find the advantages, implications, materials and varieties of condoms with just a couple of clicks.
Why then, are people still not using it?
And by “using it”, we’re not talking about “sometimes”, we’re talking about having it present, as a habit, whether it be with known or unknown people, in planned or unforeseen situations. It is this, constancy, that is truly difficult.
This problem has been studied broadly around the strategies to prevent HIV: knowledge is necessary, but not enough in order to produce a change in behavior. And difficulties for true change can come from many sources, among them, beliefs, habits, emotions, individual personality, social context, among others.
A study carried out in the city of Chiclayo, Peru, identified the reasons why young and teenage men and women did not use a condom. The reasons varied according to gender, but all of them added up, reflect the factors that keep people from protecting themselves.
For example, women said they did not use a condom because (in this order):
- Romance is lost.
- It interferes with intercourse.
- They use another birth control method.
- They feel invulnerable.
This list provided up to 12 reasons why they were not using a condom.
For men, the reasons were:
- Lack of availability of condoms in the moment.
- Less pleasure is felt.
- Has a stable relationship with current partner.
- Lack of communication on the issue.
- Interferes with intercourse.
For men, there were up to 13 reasons not to use a condom.
In your case, what’s the reason for not using it?
It is very likely that it matches with one of the reasons mentioned above. The challenge is to go beyond all these beliefs and put health first, not just your own, but your partner’s as well.
In AHF and in our allied centers we have free condoms and lubricants so you may fully enjoy your sexuality, worry free and in a safe manner.
Locate a center near you and come pick up a package.