What could be safer than the rubber glove?

Melissa Douman
Staff at Campus Health reported a strong response to a recent article in Vuvuzela that urged students to know their HIV status by being tested.
This week the AIDS Awareness message in Vuvuzela focuses on various methods of contraception. When one is in a monogamous relationship, one feels safe and trusting of their partner and often chooses not to use a condom as a method of contraception. Women often go on a contraceptive pill like Nordette and Triphasel, or the injection, which are offered free of charge at Campus Health.
The pill, loop, injection and patch are just contraceptives, used to prevent pregnancy. They do not provide protection against the contraction of HIV. They also have side effects. Sometimes they make the user feel nauseous, bloated, retain water, increase blood pressure etc. They are effective but they are not safe against the prevention of HIV.
This does not mean that one should not trust your partner if you have both been tested for HIV and found to be negative.
But how safe is the pill, injection, loop, or patch against the risk of falling pregnant? Studies show that all these methods are not 100% safe.
Sometimes due to the fact that they have been on antibiotics, which reduces the effectiveness of these drugs, or sometimes due to the fact that they have had an excessive intake of alcohol, stress, or not taken these pills at or around the same time everyday from the start of their period, these methods fail and the woman falls pregnant even after following all the correct steps.
No sex is safe sex. There are consequences with everything, however, the use of a condom every single time one has a sexual encounter proves to be one the safest methods of contraception and the only method that may prevent one from contracting HIV.
Condoms do break if not worn correctly or if they are handled too roughly. Imagine using double contraception if you are having sex regularly, like the pill and a condom?
Every action in life has a consequence. Even when we make informed decisions we sometimes find ourselves in a predicament.
However, every action does not have to lead to health risks or financial strain.
A condom is not 100% safe as there are incidences that it may break during intercourse. It is however the only method, apart from abstaining from sex to help prevent HIV and, coupled with another form of contraception, an unplanned pregnancy.


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