A recent warning from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reads like it’s straight from the files of Captain Obvious.
But, apparently, according to the federal agency, it’s necessary in this day and age.
“We say it because people do it,” reads a recent tweet from CDC’s Division of STD Prevention. “Dont wash or reuse #condoms! Use a fresh one for each #sex act.”
Condoms protect people from sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies each year. But they only work if users use them the right way, of course.
While the warning may seem redundant or superfluous, for the CDC to submit such a public warning against lathering, rinsing and repeating means that the medical community knows this is a problem.
After all, the “failure of condoms to protect against STD or HIV transmission usually results from inconsistent or incorrect use, rather than product failure,” according to the CDC’s “Condom Effectiveness” website.
The @CDCSTD tweet, which sounded the safe sex social media alarm last week, had been retweeted more than 1,200 times and liked more than 1,500 times as of Wednesday morning.
People, needless to say, had a field day with their replies.
“People do that?” one tweeted in response.
‘”Hold on babe, let me just grab one off the clothes line,’” wrote another, eliciting cringes from others in the conversation.
Another user offered more of a historical perspective, noting that musicians in the 70s referred in lyrics to “washing all the rubbers” and “washing the protectives.”
The discussion, from a wider point of view, prompts a question. What’s scarier? The idea of reusing a condom? Or the fact that CDC officials feel compelled to warn the public against the practice?
Condom use and demand for condoms skyrocketed around 1985 amid the AIDS crisis and “record high instances of reported STDs,” according to Lifestyles’ condom brand’s “The History of Condoms” website.
But with all the advances in condom technology through the years, from linen to hollowed out animal horn to rubber to latex, manufacturers still haven’t perfected a condom that works if humans insist on using it incorrectly. Like washing or reusing them, in this case.
You’ve been warned.