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Condom fatigue is a term used by medical professionals and safer sex educators to refer to the phenomenon of decreased condom use. It can also be used to describe a general weariness of and decreased effectiveness of safer sex messages. This is sometimes called "prevention fatigue".

The term has particularly been used to describe men who have sex with men, though the term applies to people of all genders and sexual orientations. Condom fatigue has been partially blamed for an increase in HIV infection rates, though this has not been substantiated in any study.

Condom fatigue is not a universal phenomenon. In Germany, condom use between new sexual partners has increased between 1994 and 2010 from 65% to 87%.[1]


HIV infection is increasing at a rate of 12% annually among 13–24-year-old American men who have sex with men.[2][3][4] Experts attribute this to "AIDS fatigue" among younger people who have no memory of the worst phase of the epidemic in the 1980s and early 1990s, as well as "condom fatigue" among those who have grown tired of and disillusioned with the unrelenting safer sex message. The increase may also be because of new treatments.[2]


  1. ^ Aufklärung, Die Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche. "BZgA : Pressemitteilungen". Retrieved 19 July 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Paddock, Catharine (June 27, 2008). "HIV Rising Among Young Gay Men In The US". Medical News Today. 
  3. ^ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (June 2008). "Trends in HIV/AIDS diagnoses among men who have sex with men—33 States, 2001–2006". MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 57 (25): 681–6. PMID 18583954. 
  4. ^ "New HIV diagnoses rising in New York City among young men who have sex with men". Archived from the original on 2014-04-09. 

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