Study: Protected Anal Sex Accounts for 51% of New HIV Cases

A new study has been published that reveals what we’ve all known all along: improper condom use can lead to dire consequences.


The study took place in Ontario and exclusively studied men who have sex with other men.

It took a small sample of data from the Ontario community, then plugged the results into a computer to get a sense of accurate numbers for the community at large. Remember, in Canada, it’s illegal for someone to not disclose their HIV status.

It found that just over half of all new HIV infections occurred in spite of using a condom. Now, the number of new infections was very small to begin with– an estimated 693 out of approximately 1.3 million acts. Of all of those, only an estimated 13 occurred when the positive partner was on antiretroviral therapy.

The thing that we’re most happy to see in this study? More and more men who have sex with other men are using condoms to prevent HIV infection from spreading to their partners. In fact, an estimated 1,184,343 anal acts took place with a condom, versus 117,133 acts without. That means that just around 11% of anal sex interactions didn’t involve a condom. Which is awesome.

So why aren’t people staying safe?


Remember, the FDA hasn’t actually approved condoms for use during anal sex (read about why the FDA is so anti-anal). That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use one. It won’t hurt to use one. In fact, it will decrease your risk monumentally more than if you use nothing at all.

So how do we further decrease that risk? By using condoms properly.

How do I stay safe?

There are two main reasons why condoms break: they aren’t the right size, and they aren’t lubricated well enough.

To make sure your condom is the right size, check out How To Measure Yourself For A Properly Fitting Condom and then check out our size chart to make sure you’re ordering the correct product.

And while you’re at it, take a peek at our Five Best Condoms For Anal Sex.

As far as lubricant goes, the first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you’re using the right type.

  • Don’t use an oil-based lubricant with a latex or polyisoprene condom. Oil degrades these materials.
  • Don’t use a water-based lubricant. The anus is made to absorb water, which means that a water-based lube will dry up crazy quick. A silicone-based lubricant, like WET Naturals Silky Supreme or WET Platinum.
  • Check out our article, Q: It’s my first time receiving anal, HELP! for more tips on lube and lube application.
  • Keep an eye out for stealthing as well!
  • Avoid the NaturaLamb condom and other condoms made of animal tissue. It might be one of the most comfortable condoms on the market, but it’s only safe for preventing unwanted pregnancy, NOT STDs!

And if that condom does break? Remember to PreP! Truvada can be taken as part of a daily regime to prevent HIV by those who are not infected but might be exposed.


It’s true: there are some imperfections with using the male condom for anal sex. Many have turned to the FC2 female condom for that reason, even though, once again, it isn’t approved by the FDA for anal sex (although no condom is). Remember, the name might be gendered, but that doesn’t mean the condom is exclusively for women. A more apt name would be the internal condom. To find out the wonders of this glorious little beast, check out How To Use A Female Condom.


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