PCP HIV AIDS Toolkit/HIV Transmission/Handout E: Persuading Your Partner to Use a Condom

PCP HIV AIDS Toolkit Handout E: Persuading Your Partner to Use a Condom
This page is part of the PCP HIV AIDS Toolkit.

Handout E: Persuading Your Partner to Use a Condom


As highlighted in the Peace Corps’ Life Skills Manual, negotiating condom use is an important skill to have and to practice. The following list of common excuses and possible responses can assist with negotiation skill-building. Facilitators/trainers can and should adapt these suggestions for use when discussing condom use for in-country use. Excuse

Excuse ! Possible Response
I don't need to use a condom. I haven’t had sex in a long time, so I know I don't have any diseases. That's good to know. As far as I know, I'm disease-free, too. But I'd still like to use a condom because either of us could have an infection and not know it.
I can’t feel anything when I wear a condom. I know there’s a little less sensation, but there's not a lot less. Why don’t we put a drop of lubricant on the condom? That’ll make it feel more sensitive.
You’re a woman. How can you possibly ask me to use a condom? How can I respect you after this? You should respect me even more because I am acting responsibly. I'm suggesting this because I care about you and respect myself enough to protect myself. That's enough for me.
If I have to stop and put it on, I won’t be in the mood anymore. I can help you put it on. That way, you’ll continue to be aroused, and we’ll both be protected.
Condoms are messy, and they smell odd. Their smell isn’t that odd. Sex can be a little messy sometimes. But this way, we’ll be able to enjoy it and both be protected from pregnancy and HIV or STIs.
Let’s not use condoms just this once. No. Once is all it takes to get pregnant or get an infection.
I don’t have a condom with me. That’s okay. I do.
You never asked me to use a condom before. Are you having an affair? No, but one of us could have an infection and not know it. It’s best to be safe.
If you really loved me, you wouldn’t make me wear one. If you really loved me, you’d want to protect yourself—and me—from infections and pregnancy so that we can be together and healthy for a long time.
Why are you asking me to wear a condom? Do you think I’m dirty or something? It’s not about being dirty or clean. It’s about avoiding pregnancy and the risk of infection.
Only people who have anal sex need to wear condoms, and I’m not like that. That’s not true. A person can get an infection during any kind of sex, including what we do together.
Condoms don’t fit me. Condoms can stretch a lot—they can stretch to fit over a person’s arm! So we should be able to find one that fits you.
Why should we use condoms? They just break. Actually, they told me that condoms are tested before they’re sent out—so while they have been known to break, it happens rarely, especially if you know how to use one correctly—and I do.
What happens if it comes off? It can get lost inside you, and you'll get sick, or could even die. Do you want that? It’s impossible for the condom to get lost inside me. If it came off, it’d be inside my vagina, and I could just reach in and pull it out.
If you don’t want to get pregnant, why don’t you just take the birth control pill? Because the birth control pill only protects against pregnancy. The condom protects against both pregnancy and infections.
My religion says that using condoms is wrong. It might help to talk with one of your religious leaders. A lot of people from different religions use condoms, even though their religion is against it. They figure that preventing infection or unintended pregnancy is more important than worrying about the morality of condoms.
Well, I’m not going to use a condom, and that’s it. So let’s have sex. No. I’m not willing to have sex without a condom.
No one else uses them. Why should we be so different? Because a lot of people who didn’t use them ended up with HIV.