Strong condoms dont make a difference

Southern Gay Men’s Health Project (SGMHP), along with many other HIV and

AIDS organisations in Ireland and the UK, have changed the advice that we

are giving to gay and bisexual men about which condoms are appropriate for

gay sex. The message of this campaign is that any Kite-marked or CE-marked

condom with adequate lubricant is suitable for anal sex.

Since the early 80s, when HIV was first discovered, extra-strong condoms

have been recommended for anal sex. However, research has shown that there

is no difference in failure rates between standard and extra-strong

condoms when used for anal sex.

“Having followed the research for some time, we are now beginning to give

out standard condoms. The usage of thinner condoms not only means that

anal sex will feel better – a complaint laid against extra-strong

condoms – it enables gay men to be aware that if for any reason they don’t

happen to have extra-strong condoms to hand that regular condom and

adequate lube is as safe,” says Paul Madden, Outreach Worker with SGMHP.

“Whether standard condoms or extra-strong condoms are used,” he continued,

“is up to an individuals personal choice. The objective of this campaign

is to inform our community of current thinking to enable them to make the

best informed choices with regards to their sexual health.”

From the first weekend in November SGMHP will be distributing their condom

packs with regular strength condoms in them. Outreach Volunteers will be

in all gay bars and pubs around Cork city with the condom packs and

information cards. “Studies have found that inappropriate use of lubricant

was the chief cause of condom failure,” says Madden, “Our advice is,

unroll the condom on to the penis; use a lot lubricant, applying the

lubricant to the outside of the condom only, and apply additional

lubricant in and around the anus.”

Condoms and lubricant are available, free of charge from Cork Gay

Community Development Project on 8 South Main Street.


Author: Stephen

Cork born and bred, proud European and Irishman. Involved in many organisations and politics. Also writes for and UCC Express.

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