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Best Defense Against Infection 

Best Defense Against Infection 

Department of Defense health surveillance data continue to reflect that sexually transmitted  infections, or STIs, are widespread among both men and women in the military. The STIs  tracked among active duty service members include syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia as well  as the human papilloma virus, or HPV, and genital herpes simplex virus. Some evidence even  suggests some STIs, such as chlamydia, may be more common among female service members  than their civilian counterparts. 

Condoms are available for free to service members at all military hospitals and clinics, including pharmacies. 


What Can You Do to Protect Yourself? 


“Wearing a condom—correctly—is arguably the most effective way to protect yourself and your  partner from the many STIs we see among service members,” said Magdalena Danaila, a  registered public health nurse at the Defense Centers for Public Health – Aberdeen.

“Properly  used condoms are also 98% effective at reducing the chance of an unintended pregnancy, so they are the only contraceptive method that protects against both pregnancy and STIs.”

Danaila points to the benefits of condoms: 

  • Condoms are easy to use and are available without a prescription. 
  • Condoms are relatively inexpensive. 
  • Condoms are available in a variety of sizes, styles, and materials from which to  choose. 
  • Condoms enhance sexual pleasure by providing peace of mind. 

In case service members have shied away from condom use because of misunderstandings,  Danaila addressed some common myths: 

Myth: Condoms reduce pleasure during sex. 

Fact: Condoms can actually enhance sexual pleasure for some people. Use of different  product types and/or sizes should be tried if a person feels a condom is reducing  sensation. The added use of a water-based lubricant may also help. 

Myth: All condoms are the same size and type. 

Fact: Multiple product types, materials, brands and sizes are available. 

Myth: Two condoms used together provide double protection. 

Fact: Maximum effectiveness is provided by a single, appropriately worn condom. o

Myth: Wearing a condom most of the time is good enough. 

Fact: It only takes one time to transmit or acquire an STI or cause an unwanted  pregnancy. Condoms should be worn every time to be fully effective. 

Myth: Condoms are only for preventing pregnancy. 

Fact: Condoms are the only contraceptive method that protects against both pregnancy  and STIs. 

Myth: Condoms are not very effective. 

Fact: Condoms can break or slip off during sex, but this is rare if the condom is used  correctly. When used correctly, condoms are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy and  significantly reduce the chance of transmitting STIs. 

Danaila reminded everyone that condom use is not just about individual protection—it’s also about protecting our fellow service members and ensuring mission readiness.


*For more tips from DHA, please check out their Expert M:M Author Page.



  • Defense Health Agency

    The Defense Health Agency is a joint, integrated Combat Support Agency that enables the Army, Navy, and Air Force medical services to provide a medically ready force and ready medical force to Combatant Commands in both peacetime and wartime. Their mission is to provide a medical benefit commensurate with the service and sacrifice of more than 9.6 million active duty personnel, military retirees and their families.


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Supporting Our Military Children

Supporting Our Military Children

One thing that has been most important to me, as a military spouse, is figuring out how to best do this life while supporting our children with the changes and difficulties. When my children were very small, there were many times that my husband was away, and I had to parent my children alone.

Mission: Milspouse is a
501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

EIN Number: 88-1604492


P.O. Box 641341
El Paso, TX 79904


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