Originally Posted by Frank777
Anyway Tonton, I'll bite.
Maybe that's why you think condoms fail so much -- you do run the risk of puncturing them if you bite. Please, not only for health reasons, but for the pleasure of your partner, no teeth! Lips and tongue only.
Given the need for the correct use of condoms and the general failure rate, a condom will not protect anyone who is regularly having sex with an infected person over the medium to long term.
Most people don't seem to realize that if someone says that the failure rate of condoms is 1% or 10% or 50% that that's an absolutely meaningless, useless number stated that way. A failure rate cannot be stated as nothing but a percentage.
Only a failure rate specified for a given number of uses, or given span of time (with an assumed average number of uses during that time) has any useful meaning whatsoever.
It's not just religious conservatives who misunderstand these statistics -- our entire culture is pathetically innumerate when it comes to this stuff -- but religious conservatives, not surprisingly, always misunderstand these statistics to mean condoms are as horribly unreliable as they can misunderstand them to mean.
Here are some positive sounding statistics from the Red Cross, but even these are lacking the vital time-period information to make them truly useful:
Used correctly and consistently, latex (or polyurethane if allergic to latex) condoms greatly reduce the risk of transmission of HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) and some other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).* One study of latex condom effectiveness observed couples in which only one partner was living with HIV, comparing the couples using condoms consistently with those that did not. Of the 123 couples using condoms consistently, no uninfected partner became infected during the study. Of the 122 couples not using condoms consistently, 12 partners became infected with HIV.
I would guess that the span of this study was at least one year, but I can only guess. If the time period were a year, the failure rate is something less than 1% per year
-- how much less is impossible to tell.
What people who deliberately misunderstand statistics like this will do is assume that any given failure rate is a per use
failure rate. They'll state crazy failure rates like 10%, and act as if that means the one out of ten times you have sex using a condom that pregnancy or disease transmission will result, which is of course absolutely bogus. The above statistics are clearly for some
time period covering a good bit more than a single sex act on average. Even if that time period were merely a month, the disease transmission rate with no condom at all would be around 10% for the whole time period, not much higher than 2% per sex act if the couples averaged one sex act per week.
Since the study period is almost certainly at least one year, even unprotected sex with a known HIV infected partner is well under 1% per sex act. With a condom, even allowing for condom failure, the per-act risk of infection becomes almost vanishingly small.