The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the US has tweeted a reminder to people to not wash and re-use condoms.
— CDC STD (@CDCSTD) July 23, 2018
‘We say it because people do it: Don’t wash or reuse #condoms! Use a fresh one for each #sex act,’ said the tweet on its CDC STD Twitter account.
The CDC is one of the leading federal-backed health promotion and prevention organizations in the United States. As such, its proclamations are usually treated with great seriousness.
However, the tweet has – perhaps predictably – met with some incredulity online.
‘Hold on babe, let me just grab one off the clothes line…’ responded @CharlesHaHaHall.
‘Well, what the hell am I supposed to with all these condoms in the dishwasher now?’ asked @mrd125
‘Name names,’ implored @actual_anna.
‘I’m just upset that this is something that people needed to be told,’ said @smoochitworse.
And then there were the many amused gifs.
— Omotayo Akinro (@etyro) July 27, 2018
— Jamil Starkweather (@starkweatherTD) July 24, 2018
The do’s and don’ts of using condoms
Most commentators expressed surprise the warning needed to be issued. However, if the CDC felt moved to post about it, some people clearly still haven’t got the message.
It included a link to resources explaining how to properly use male and female condoms and other barriers methods of protection – including dental dams.
Condoms can help prevent HIV infection and a variety of other sexually-transmitted infections.
Should you need reminding: Do use a new condom each time you have sex, and do check it hasn’t got any tears or defects in it. Check the expiration date on the package, and store them in a cool place, away from heat. Use them only with water or silicon-based lubricants.
Don’t store condoms in your wallet as heat and friction can damage them. And don’t use more than one at a time.
And remember, condoms are designed to be used once only. Washing them will not sterilize them and will seriously weaken their composite material. Dispose of them in the trash after you’ve used them!