Himalayan News Service, The Himalayan Times, 13 February 2018
According to Nepal Demographic Health Survey 2016, 72 per cent of women and 92 per cent of men know that use of condom prevents HIV transmission and other sexually transmitted infections. However, the increasing number of HIV infected people in the country suggests that many of them either don’t know how to use condoms correctly or don’t use them consistently.
Data with National Centre for AIDS and STD Control, a total of 30,646 HIV cases have been reported in the country as of July 15, 2017. Among them, 18,989 are males, 11,535 females and 122 are transgender.
Health practitioners in the country, therefore, suggest that people should use condoms consistently and correctly to avoid the infections. As the world is celebrating International Condom Day on February 13 with the aim of making people aware of safe sex practices, health experts have suggested that people use the correct type of condoms to stay safe from sexually transmitted infections.
“Condoms help in prevention of HIV and other STIs and also provide protection from unwanted pregnancy if used consistently and correctly,” said Dr Anup Bastola, HIV clinician at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, Teku. “However, people in Nepal feel awkward buying condoms and many of them even believe that condom kills sexual pleasure,” added Bastola.
Similarly Dr Bastola also suggested using water based, silicone based lubricants. “Oil based lubricant shouldn’t be used. Similarly use of baby oil, lotions and cooking oil can damage condoms. Such kind of activities should be avoided. Condoms shouldn’t be kept in heat as heat damages them. Instead, it should be kept in cool and dry place. Similarly the same condom should also not be re-used and more than one condom shouldn’t be used at a time as it can damage the condom and also there are chances for slippage. Only latex and polyurethane condoms should only be used,” added Dr Bastola.
A condom acts as a barrier or wall to keep blood, or semen, or vaginal fluids from passing from one person to the other during intercourse. These fluids can harbour germs such as HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. If no condom is used, germs can pass from the infected partner to the uninfected partner.