What is dual contraception?
Ever heard the saying that two heads are better than one? Well, in some cases the same case applies to contraceptives.
There’s this joke that women fear getting pregnant than contracting HIV and other STIs. After unprotected sex, many will be more worried about pregnancy than STIs. This should not be the case because STIs are actually dangerous as some are even incurable.
A dual contraceptive method is the use of any modern contraceptive method with a barrier method such as a condom. This means that the method seeks to ensure safe sex and birth control. This method, therefore, protects against unwanted pregnancies, HIV, and other STIs.
This means you could have an IUD, be on pills, implant, shot, and others, and still use a condom (male or female condom).
Why dual contraception?
While condoms alone can protect against pregnancy and certain STIs, dual contraception adds a layer of safety.
First, as stated dual contraception means that you are protected from unwanted pregnancies and STIs, including HIV. In some cases, people who are on birth control may forget that they can catch STIs from unprotected sex.
Second, some people are unaware of their HIV status or may not want to reveal their status to their sex partners and still have unprotected sex. In such cases, being on long-term or short-term birth control is not enough. Of course, we encourage testing for HIV and other STIs but in some cases, especially with casual hookups or one-night stands, this is not possible thus dual contraception is important.
Third, discordant couples who wish to protect HIV-negative partners from infection and also protect them against unwanted pregnancies are advised to use the dual contraceptive method.
Also, discordant couples who have sex with other partners are more likely to transmit or get infected with HIV because the negative partner will only tend to use a condom with their HIV-infected spouse and not with their other partners. This put their partner at risk of re-infection.
Finally, dual contraception can help to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV amongst pregnant women, non-binary persons, trans men, intersex, and anyone born with well-functioning ovaries and uterus. In many cases, people may not know that they are pregnant until it’s too late to start ARV treatment. This puts the child at risk of HIV transmission.
Do you use dual contraception? If not, would you?