Sexual Health

Using an External Condom

Before opening the condom package, check the expiration date.

Check the condom for air pockets by feeling the package with your fingers. If it’s flat, toss it and get another. If it feels like a pillow, then it’s good to be used.

Open the package with care by using the pads of your fingers. Do not use scissors, your teeth, nails or any other sharp object. Be sure not to tear the condom.

Make sure the "ring" of the condom is on the outside.

Pinch the tip to squeeze the air out. This leaves a space for the semen (cum) to be deposited. If uncircumcised, pull back foreskin. Follow the same steps if using a dildo to make sure no air is stuck at the tip of the condom. 

Keep holding the tip. Roll the condom down to the base of the penis or dildo.

After sex, slide the condom off the dildo or penis. Be careful not to spill the semen (cum) off the penis.

Throw the condom away into a trash bin--do not flush in the toilet. Never use the same condom more than once.


Step by step guide on how to put an external condom on a penis or a dildo. 

Using an Internal Condom

Open the packet and locate the two rings.

The smaller of the two rings will be inserted into the vagina*.

To insert the internal condom, squeeze the small ring so that it can be inserted inside the vagina.

Insert the small ring into the vagina.

Use your index finger to ensure that the condom is inserted by pushing the ring and the condom inside the vagina until it snaps in place. Insertion of an internal condom is similar that of a tampon – you will know when it is in place. Once inserted, the outer ring (the large ring) hangs outside and will receive the penis.

The internal condom can be inserted up to eight hours before intercourse.

When you are ready to engage in intercourse, it is important to guide the penis INSIDE the ring.

After intercourse, and after your partner pulls out, twist the outer ring to hold semen (cum) inside the condom (and to avoid spillage) and then pull the condom out.

Use only one internal condom per encounter and throw it away when done. It is not recommended to use the same condom more than once.

*NOTE: The internal condom can also be used for anal sex. For anal sex, follow all the steps above; however, be sure to remove the small ring before inserting the condom into the anus.

How to insert an internal condom into a vagina 

*FC2 internal condom available for UCLA students at the LGBT Center and the ASHE Center.

Using a Dental Dam

Latex barriers called dental dams are flat squares of latex rubber that can be used for safer oral sex. Alternatives to dental dams include non-microwavable saran wrap or a square made from a non-lubricated condom (cut off tip of condom and cut condom lengthwise). Any of these can be placed against the vagina or anus during mouth-to-vagina or mouth-to-anus sex.

When used correctly during oral sex, latex barriers can help prevent the spread of many sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including HIV.

Store latex barriers in a cool, dry place, since heat can damage latex.

  • Handle the latex barrier (dental dam) carefully so it does not rip.
  • Hold the latex barrier firmly with both hands. Place the barrier over the vagina or anus.
  • Be sure to keep one side toward you and one side toward your partner. Don't forget which side is which.
  • For extra lubrication, use a water-based lubricant. Do not use oil-based products such as lotion or baby oil, since oil can weaken the latex.
  • Never use the same latex barrier more than once. When finished, throw the barrier away.

Different flavored dental dams

Condom Use Tips

Use an external or internal condom every time you have sex. Use them for all kinds of sex: vaginal, anal and oral (external condom only or dental dam).

For extra lubrication, use a water-based lubricant such as K-Y Jelly. Do not use oil-based products such as lotion or baby oil. Oil can make latex condoms weak and cause them to break.

Check the expiration date. Do not use expired condoms.

Store condoms in a cool, dry place. Do not leave them in your wallet or car. Heat can damage condoms.


What are PrEP/PEP?

PrEP: Short for “pre-exposure prophylaxis,” PrEP is an HIV prevention strategy in which HIV-negative people take an oral pill once a day before coming into contact with HIV to reduce their risk of HIV infection. PrEP must be taken for at least 7 days to reach optimal levels of protection against HIV.

PEP: Short for “post-exposure prophylaxis,” PEP is an HIV prevention strategy in which HIV-negative people take anti-HIV medications after coming into contact with HIV to reduce their risk of HIV infection. PEP must be started within 72 hours after HIV exposure.

Please see our "LGBTQIA Resources" Tab for PrEP/PEP Resources, 

HIV Resources

Truvada for PrEP Medication Assistance Program

The Truvada® for PrEP medication assistance program assists eligible HIV-negative adults in the United States who require assistance paying for Truvada (emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis).

To find out if you are eligible for this medication assistance program, call 1-855-330-5479, Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. (Eastern).

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If you're interested in joining a group specifically for people living with HIV, please contact our Interim Director, Saeromi Kim.

HIV Risk Reduction Tool

Check out the CDC's HIV Risk Reduction Tool to help measure your risk for HIV 

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