Combined prevention

In addition to condoms (internal or external), we now talk about combination prevention. This means that there are other strategies such as testing, treatment and harm reduction that can prevent the transmission of HIV and other STIs. 


Fortunately, STIs are not a fatality! There are simple ways and means to avoid them and stop their transmission.


The external condom, formerly known as the "male condom", is used to protect against STIs during practices such as vaginal or anal penetration, but also during oral sex.
You can find them free of charge in family planning centers, at certain festive events, from certain theme-based associations, etc. You can also buy them in supermarkets, drugstores (Di, Kruidvat, etc.), pharmacies, on the Internet (watch out for the source!), in dispensers outside pharmacies, etc. Good to know: Some mutual insurance companies cover up to 50 euros a year.


Before putting on an external condom, check that it is not expired or pierced. Use onlyonly one condom at a time and with water-based or silicone lubricant. Never use the same external condom more than once.


The internal condom, formerly known as the "female condom", is used to protect against STIs during vaginal and anal penetration. It is less well known despite its many qualities, as it is more expensive and less readily available.

Good to know:

  • It can be put in the anus or vagina up to 6 hours in advance.
  • It is often made of polyurethane, a hypoallergenic material.
  • It is more resistant than latex.
  • It provides better protection against STIs because it covers a larger external area (covers the anal area and the vulva, which reduces the transmission of STIs via skin-to-skin contact).
  • For the person penetrating, it is similar to the sensations experienced during sex without a condom.



The latex square protects against STIs during cunnilingus or anilingus. It is placed over the vulva or anus with lubricant to hold it in place.
They can be ordered online and are also available from some LGBTQI+ and/or sexual health associations. They are available in latex or polyurethane, in a variety of colors and tastes.
It is also possible to make one yourself:

Risk reduction

If you are unable to use protection routinely, here are some tips to reduce your risk:

  • Get tested regularly (1 to 4 times a year depending on your practices, partners and frequency of sex).
  • Try to avoid sex when your immunity is low (if you are ill, if you are not feeling well,...).
  • Keep your hands clean and your fingernails short and sharp, to avoid hurting your partner during penetration or stimulation of the labia, anus, clitoris, glans...
  • Talk to your partner about your sexual health and any sexual concerns you may have. Be honest and keep in mind that there is nothing taboo or shameful about talking about this.
  • If you use sex toys, keep them clean: clean them before and after each use and use a condom if necessary. 
  • Take a chewing gum or breath freshener instead of brushing your teeth just before and after sex to avoid creating micro-lesions on the gums.
  • For optimal comfort, to avoid overheating and the risk of irritation or even damage to the mucous membranes, use a lubricant.
  • During your period, avoid blood-related sexual practices: be creative and discover other practices 🙂 
  • Take off your jewellery before making love.
  • If you are among the most-at-risk populations for HIV, find out about PrEP.


There is a vaccine for hepatitis A and B and for HPV/papillomavirus. Ask your doctor or go to a family planning center to find out if you are already protected.-e or if you need these vaccines.