Q: What are some effective ways to negotiate condom use with your sexual partner?

A: Most important, when you are ready to talk to your partner about condoms, don’t bring up the subject “in the heat of the moment.” A better way is to choose an appropriate time in a relaxed atmosphere so you can discuss the issue in a comfortable and supportive setting.

Tell your partner what your expectations, needs and concerns are regarding unprotected sex. Let your partner know that you want to have sex, but not without a condom. Pitch the idea that, properly used, condoms work to protect both of you from many sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy.

Suggest shopping for condoms together, or look up different types of prophylactics online to make planning for safe sex more like a fun adventure. After you or your partner purchases condoms, keep them handy at all times.

If your partner is reluctant to use a condom, remind him or her that having unsafe sex is unhealthy for both of you. Make it clear that you aren’t willing to risk your health or theirs and this is a way to protect each other.

Should these tactics fail, be prepared to walk away. A partner who refuses to use a condom is not the right sex partner because he or she doesn’t have your best interests at heart.