Avatar universal
CDC & FDA FAQS - Need help in Comprehending Correctly
hey guysss

this is my first question on this forum, i have read many posts and the members are very supportive. I am a male at 26 in london now, i too am a worried well, diagnosed with OCD since 4 yrs now & HIV has been the biggest obsession, i had a phase when i used to go for repeated HIV tests after every speculative encounter (always protected) such as dna  pcr, elisa, weston blot you name it, all came back negative obviously since i had a no risk behavior.

Last september i was in tweed heads australia where i was tempted to have an encounter on 3 occassions with 2 lovely ladies (CSW) as they call it, a 5 star establishment, licenced and the ladies tested periodically. the interaction was oral protected, vaginal protected, no condom slippage or breakage.(should say it was good fun).

I felt the experience was good and didnt feel the need to speculate and obsess, but my ocd got onto to me after 2 months saying what if the condom was expired or of low quality and had open pores. etc etc. Result was my ocd got me to go take one more test (ELISA) at 80 days (11 weeks) = Negative result.

then on crazily surfing google i came to the CDC & FDA sites which had the following information that triggered the worry again, may be i am not able to think clearly and need your help in comprehending the language.

Heres the source link - http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ByAudience/ForPatientAdvocates/HIVandAIDSActivities/ucm126372.htm#guar

"What is the government doing about condom quality?
The FDA is working with condom manufacturers to help ensure that the latex condoms you buy are not damaged.

Manufacturers "spot check" their condoms using a "water-leak" test. FDA inspectors do a similar test on sample condoms they take from warehouses. The condoms are filled with water and checked for leaks. An average of 996 of 1000 condoms must pass this test.

(Don't try the water-leak test on condoms you plan to use, because this kind of testing weakens condoms.)

Government testing can not guarantee that condoms will always prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. How well you are protected will also depend a great deal on which condoms you choose and how you store, handle and use them."


"Does it matter which styles of condoms I use?
It's most important to choose latex condoms that say "disease prevention" on the package. Other features are a matter of personal choice."


"Will a condom guarantee I won't get a sexually transmitted disease?
No. There's no absolute guarantee even when you use a condom. But most experts believe that the risk of getting HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases can be greatly reduced if a condom is used properly.

In other words, sex with condoms isn't totally "safe sex," but it is "less risky" sex.


Now the question is, is this DATA TOO OLD & NOT UPDATED. Or whether what i comprehend from it is wrong.

please help me clear these questions. your help would be much appreciated.

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4 Answers
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Avatar universal
I understand that the information on condom effectiveness is sort of fuzzy. You don't need to be concerned about holes or other defects in condoms. If a condom doesn't break then the protection is 100%. When there is a weakness in the condom it will break catastrophically due to the stress it undergoes during intercourse (you will know when it breaks). There is no such thing as holes in condoms that allow transmission to occur.

The take home message that you should get from the FDA is that condoms are regulated for effectiveness because they are technically considered medical devices. This ensures a high level of quality in their manufacture and minimizes the change of breakage. However, partly due to legal concerns the federal agencies and the manufacturers will make statements such as what you cite because there is still a slight chance for breakage despite the quality control that goes into their manufacture.

I am not an expert on OCD but from my experience on these forums I can tell you that researching for information on HIV is absolutely the worst thing that you can do for your condition. You will inevitably gravitate toward information that is vague or misleading as you have demonstrated here. To be sexually safe, all you need to do is use condoms consistently for vaginal or anal sex and have an annual sexual health checkup for HIV and STDs. Repeated tests after individual sexual encounters are not necessary and will just fuel your anxiety. If you are consistent with condom use then the HIV results will be negative.
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Avatar universal
thanks joggen

yes the information is quite fuzzy i agree and the FDA & CDC likes to be conservative to avoid law suits, but reading the forums i came acros one more post which had thee below link on some site talking about condoms not being effective.

heres the link:-

questions is should this be ignored and information is all bogus?

also are there such other sites that have such misleading information?

if there then i would not bother about this link too and just move on.

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Avatar universal
This is yet another example why you should not continue to search the internet for information. The web is full of bogus information on condoms published by people with "agendas". If you stick with MedHelp (and other professional sources) you will find that statements on condom effectiveness by the doctors and experts like Teak are entirely consistent. If you find information that contradicts this then you should consider the source.

You need to stop fueling your obsession by searching for information and visiting forums and seek professional help for your OCD. Your issues are beyond the scope of help that a forum can provide- you need to be working with a mental health professional on this. I am closing this thread because answering questions is only going to lead to more questions and fuel your obsession further.

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