The consensus seems to be that condoms are used to prevent pregnancy, for the most part. Alright, that's all good. It doesn't matter why you're using a condom, as long as you're using it. There are other efficient methods of birth-control, yes, and women really don't enjoy using condoms any more than men do. So a lot of people seem to think that going on the pill or applying other means of birth-control means that you can stop using the rubber. No.
While there are many methods of birth-control, a condom is the only thing that will protect you from various venereal diseases. And it isn't that young people think a baby a bigger scare than death, although there certainly is a prevalent attitude of devil-may-care inherent in the youth, but that because of insufficient education in safe sex, they just don't comprehend or understand this.
The gay community has learned the lesson, so yay! for the gay community. It took some dire times, but the message has sunk in. Mostly. There are still - or it could be argued that it's an all-new phenomenon - thrill-seekers, bughunters, barebackers, depressives looking for passive suicide, who for various reasons disregard what every homosexual youth damn well knows. And then there's the common misconception that you can't get sexually transmitted diseases from oral sex. You can, even though the probability of, for example, HIV isn't anywhere near as high as it is from anal intercourse. It is, how ever, the most common cause of throat gonorrhea. You can have oral sex with a condom, and you'll be safer if you do. And while lesbians have always been a low-risk group, even lesbians are not risk-free. More STDs than just herpes can be contracted from kissing alone. If you've ever had unprotected sex, get tested.
But the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndome, AIDS, is not a gay plague. Of the fourty million (40,000,000) people that carry the HI-virus, and of three million (3,000,000) people that die of AIDS, every year, the majority is heterosexual. Most of the new infections are among women and children. AIDS is not God's punishment for sexual immorality, because children are born with it, contracting it from their mothers who were virgins up until their wedding night, when they contracted it from their husband. There are men who believe that raping or marrying a virgin will cure AIDS.
There is no cure for AIDS, boys and girls. AIDS medication has improved in the last twenty years, and we're even close to finding ways of preventing HIV from spreading. But even if you are in the very small group of people who can afford the best drugs out there, which can allow you to live for decades after the initial infection, if you have the active version of the type III T-cell leukemia, which is what HIV is, you will die. Modern medicine and Western society cannot save you. And every time you have sex without a condom, you chance it. There are faster, easier, and cleaner ways to die, no matter how good the one fuck was. One is all it takes.
You. Yes, you. Your mother or father, your husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, your brother or sister, your neighbour, and most importantly the person you'd planned on initiating sex with might be carrying the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. They might not even be aware of it. I don't care how long you've known this person, how well you think you can trust them, or if they've just today got back the results of a test taken three weeks ago to detect an infection from twelve weeks prior to taking the test. If the person you're planning on having unprotected sex with presents a fresh clean sheet of health to you today, there's still a fifteen week window for them to have contracted the most lethal venereal disease out there after that. That's four months. A hundred and five days and nights, two thousand five hundred and twenty hours. Unless you're damned sure that you yourself are not a carrier, and that there's no chance in hell they could have sneaked in an illicit shag or an injection during that time, you're taking a risk.
Unprotected sex is always a risk, even if you're trying for a baby with your monogamous life-partner.
And HIV is not the only thing you're chansing with unprotected sex. There's amebiasis, bacterial vaginosis, chancroid, chlamydia, condyloma, cytomegalo virus, herpes, hepatitis, genital mycoplasma, genital warts, giardiasis, gonorrhea, granuloma inguinale, streptococcal infections, molluscum contagiosum, pubic lice, scabies, shigellosis, syphilis, trichomoniasis. Left untreated, many of them can lead to death. And other fun things, like pelvic inflammatory disease, cervical cancer, bleeding sores, warts and blisters, icky discharges, fever, itching; and not just in your genitals.
Raise your hand if you've heard of all of them, and be honest.
Seriously, don't be stupid. Use a condom. Use common sense. I know it isn't always easy, and even the safest sex isn't a hundred percent, entirely safe. I've had a condom break in me. I've had unprotected sex of all three kinds, due to circumstance and youthful idiocy. I'm tattooed, I haven't always gone the cleanest route with my piercings, I've gone to regions where a hepatitis shot would've been required but never got one, and I've been fucking lucky.
As far as I know.
But regardless of all of this, people with venereal diseases are not pariah. It's alright to have sex with them, if you take the necessary precautions. You can have sex with someone who's HIV positive. But it is not trust and love to have sex with them without a condom. It's trust and love that they demand you use one. Or hell, go crazy and use two.