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I use condoms. Do I need PrEP?

I have to tell you, it’s a great question. If you are using condoms reliably, if you’re really using condoms every time, for 100% of the encounters, potentially you don’t need anything else. I’m not there with you, and I can’t tell you what you’re really doing. I can’t tell you if you’re the person who when the lights are low and the music is slow, you’re halfway done and then say oh my God, where’s the condom. That’s not really using the condom 100% of the time. What I’m offering you, is not a cure-all but an additional tool in your tool kit of protection. PrEP protects people from HIV. Part of the reason that when I counsel people about PrEP, I also talk about condoms, is because HIV is not the only thing that’s out there. PrEP will not protect you from gonorrhea or chlamydia, or syphilis. Or an unplanned pregnancy. So, condoms are important to protect you from these other things.

Dr. Flash covers how condoms and PrEP can work together to protect against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

In addition to condoms, PrEP offers those who do not have HIV another powerful means of protection.

PrEP only protects against HIV. Condoms provide protection against other STDs, in particular gonorrhea and chlamydia.

Since twice-yearly STD screening is part of maintaining a PrEP prescription, going on PrEP can help you more promptly diagnose and treat any STDs you may contract.

Click here for more information on PrEP.


#AskTheHIVDoc is a video series from Greater Than HIV featuring top HIV doctors providing answers to commonly-asked questions about HIV prevention, testing and treatment.

This information is shared for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The views expressed are those of the featured medical professional and reflect information available to that professional at time of filming. Always consult a health care provider for any personal health decision.

While we make every effort to keep the medical information on our website updated, we cannot guarantee that the information reflects the most up-to-date research. Also, please note the views expressed by individuals who appear in Greater Than HIV videos and other content are their own and are not made on behalf of any groups/organizations/associations.