Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.

11.19.2014

Can we really trust the free condoms?

11.19.2014
Something we hear at least once a month is, "Don't the free condoms from CHEW/the health center break more easily than other condoms?"

The short answer: No. They work equally as well as other brand name condoms.

The longer answer:  The free condoms, typically Lifestyles for our campus, are tested rigorously to make sure they do not break, tear, or fail.  If they are used correctly, they are just as effective as the condoms you can choose to pay for.  Of course, you have that option, as well:  JHU Condom Sense.

So why are we giving out free condoms?  I mean, free giveaways usually aren't really free... you usually have to do something, right?  Well, in this case, no.  All we ask is that people use these freebies to have safer sex when they might not have otherwise.  It's a lot better for our community as a whole when people are being safer by reducing their risks for HIV, STI/STDs, and unplanned pregnancies.

One thing to look out for are condoms marked as "novelty" or "for entertainment purposes".  All condoms used for safer sex purposes should be cleared by the FDA to prevent STDs and unplanned pregnancy so that bacon flavored condom might not cut it.... but check the packaging to be sure.

If you have had trouble in the past with free condoms, you may want to make sure you have the proper fit, amount of lubricant (more is usually better), and that you are generally putting them on correctly.  For instructions on how to put a condom on, check out the video below.

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