Home   Birth Control   Will birth control pills protect me from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDS?

Will birth control pills protect me from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDS?

No, they won't protect you. Birth control pills and most other birth control methods will not protect you from STIs, including HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). They only protect against pregnancy.

The male latex condom is the best birth control method that also can protect you from STIs, including HIV. If you are allergic to latex, polyurethane condoms are a good alternative. If your partner can't or won't use a male condom, female condoms also create a barrier that can help protect you from STIs.

It is important to only use latex or polyurethane condoms to protect you from STIs. "Natural" or "lambskin" condoms have tiny pores that may allow for the passage of viruses like HIV, hepatitis B, and herpes. If you use non-lubricated male condoms for vaginal or anal sex, you can add lubrication with water-based lubricants (like K-Y jelly) that you can buy at a drug store. Never use oil-based products, such as massage oils, baby oil, lotions, or petroleum jelly, to lubricate a male condom. These will weaken the condom, causing it to tear or break. Use a new condom with each sex act.

Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, womenshealth.gov (or girlshealth.gov)



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