Posted by: Thomas | 2008/05/22


Dear Expert I see you are back again - PLEASE stick around, I have grown to know and love the responses from the guys here really I have but we also need you and your answers, you put a different spin on things which I have always enjoyed and I really miss that so please be around for a long time. So I will also ask a question, my bf and are together for 3 months now and I want us to stop using condoms, we both went for a test together a few weeks ago and both were negative but we are worried about the window period and other things and are playing it safe. Two questions really, where can we find a bit larger condoms form the government ones, and when can we stop using condoms altogether? Hoe can we be sure we're doing the right thing?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGay, lesbian and bisexual expert

Hi Thomas and thanks for the post. I've been quiet here for a long period (although checking in to monitor regularly) but I'm chuffed that I now have more time to devote to our forum.

The window period (that time between someone actually being infected with HIV and the ability for the infection to be identified by testing) varies from test to test. In general, tests are becoming increasingly sensitive and thus able to detect HIV antibodies sooner. One common test used has a window period of approximately 6 weeks, but you'll need to ask the health professional doing the test about the details of the test being used.

I suggest that before you stop using condoms you are both screened for syphilis (a very simple test) and have a serious conversation about the nature of your relationship - to what extent is it open versus closed? It is essential that you guys are able to trust each other to not engage in potentially risky sex with others.

Many guys complain about the standard government condoms being too tight/small. Take a closer look at condoms available at your local pharmacy - Durex, for example, offer a larger condom. Only buy SABS-approved condoms and use stax of water-based lube.

Only you can decide when to stop using condoms but it sounds as if you're being very responsible. Enjoy!

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: LONEWOLF | 2008/05/26

Hi Dave. Good question. The thing is that a relationship should be based on trust if you want it to work. If you do not trust your boyfriend, how can he trust you? It is a fact of life and love that no one can escape from. You simply have to trust him if you love him. I know this does not always work this way, but is there any other way?

Posted by: Dave | 2008/05/25

The problem for me is always the question how can I trust my boyfriend? I know of too many guys in relationships who always fool around.

Reply to Dave
Posted by: Deeve | 2008/05/23

Howzit Thomas,
Havn't advice on Condoms...but for the rest, I would go for quite a few tests over at least a year before presuming that all is well. I believe that one must be very certain of your partner, before you let your guard down, and 'live and let live'. My 5 cents.... Cheers.

Reply to Deeve
Posted by: LONEWOLF | 2008/05/23

Hi Thomas. The Government issue condoms comes in one size. I have found the the DUREX XL condom works very well, if you need a larger condom. Most pharmacies stock them. Check out the Dischem Pharmacies, they are a bit cheaper, but then there is no price on safe sex, is there.

Regarding your bareback question. I think that if you are uncertain and think you should wait out the window period, why not wait a while. It is worth it.

it is good to see you guys are responsible. All the best from a guy living with HIV


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