Safer Sex

Safer sex is defined as any sexual activity using precautions such as condoms or dental dams to protect yourself against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). 

The term safer sex acknowledges that people may not use these items every time they have sex. Safer sex reflects the fact that things such as condoms and dental dams reduce, but do not completely eliminate, the risk of getting or giving infections.

What is safer sex about?

  • Reducing your risk(s) of getting HIV or other sexually transmitted infections.
  • Acknowledging that sex can still be fun, stimulating, exciting, and erotic while using precautions.
  • Being for everyone regardless of gender, age, race, sexual orientation, number of partners or if you believe you are in a monogamous relationship.

Safer Sex Items

When used properly, male and female condoms can help reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections. You can get both types of condoms free at RHAC. 

Learn how to use condoms:

Personal lubricant is also a good way to make vaginal and anal sex more comfortable and to protect your mucous membranes.  Remember, only use water based lubricants with latex condoms! Get free lubricant at RHAC.

Dental dams are also an option for oral-anal and oral-vaginal sex.  They are small, thin pieces of latex and are often flavoured. Dental dams are supplied for free at RHAC.

Watch a short video about how to use a dental dam.

If you think condoms are:

  • Confusing - practice on yourself, your partner or a banana, dildo or sex toy.
  • Intimidating - talk with your partner and discuss safer sex options.
  • Embarrassing - take a deep breath. It really is easier after the first time you buy them, get them from us, use them, or talk about them.
  • Inconvenient - have condoms handy and make them a part of foreplay.  You could also incorporate them into your masturbation practices to get used to it when erect.

You will be better able to protect yourself if you:

  • Know about HIV/AIDS and safer sex.
  • Make safer sex choices before you are in a sexual situation.
  • Get tested for HIV on a regular basis.
  • Feel comfortable about your sexuality.
  • Talk to your partner about what you are thinking.
  • Be a person who respects your partner's safer sex choices.

Additional information: 

Are you a man who has sex with other men? Visit for safer sex and safer drug use information specifically geared toward gay, bi and men who have sex with men (MSM).

Have you ever heard about sero-sorting? Please contact one of our educators to answer any questions you may have about sero-sorting or being in a mixed HIV status relationship.