How can we help?

is it possible to get HIV if you had sex using a condom?

Condoms are the best way to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as HIV. They have a very low failure rate and are effective for all forms of sex, including vaginal, oral and anal, but they must be used correctly every time you have sex.

Always check the expiry date of the condom, and choose condoms that carry the BSI kite mark and the European CE mark.

Put the condom on as soon as the penis is erect. Small amounts of sperm are released from the penis before ejaculation, so for condoms to be effective they must be put on before any sexual contact (whether vaginal, anal or oral). Putting on the condom late or removing the condom during sex greatly increases the risk of transmitting an STI. Withdraw straight after ejaculation and always hold the condom firmly to stop it from slipping off when withdrawing.

If the condom splits or slips off during sex, you may be at risk of STIs (and pregnancy) and you should contact a sexual health service or your GP for advice. If you believe you may have been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours, seek immediate advice on receiving PEP.

HIV Home Test Kits
Dr Gillian Holdsworth headshot

This post was clinically reviewed by:
Dr Gillian Holdsworth Fettle's Managing Director, Medical Doctor and public health expert.

You might find these helpful

Recent posts

Can trichomoniasis be contracted non sexually?

Yellow arrow pointing right

Is rigevidon a mini pill?

Yellow arrow pointing right

Does cerazette stop periods?

Yellow arrow pointing right

Can the morning after pill delay period?

Yellow arrow pointing right

Are 3 weeks enough after a risk for a HIV test?

Yellow arrow pointing right