The National AIDS Trust has released a new survey that found 49% of British people do not always use a condom with a new sexual partner.
It is calling on the government to allow adverts for condoms to be aired before the 9pm watershed.
NAT also wants condom use to become “an essential part of comprehensive, compulsory sex and relationships education in all schools.”
Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of the National AIDS Trust, said:
“In National Condom Week the British public need a wake-up call on condom use.
“Too many people don’t know the basic facts on how condoms prevent a sexually transmitted infection such as HIV.
“Too many people are inconsistent in how they use condoms and too many people give up on condoms in a relationship without a health check-up, thus possibly harming their health or that of their sexual partner.
“We need to educate the whole population in the importance of condoms. “
In March the Health Protection Agency reported that there were an estimated 6,840 new HIV diagnoses in the UK last year, more than a third of them gay men.
The number of people living with HIV in the UK was estimated at 73,000 by the end of 2006.
One in three people do not know they are infected.
The Ipsos MORI survey conducted for the National AIDS Trust to mark National Condom Week found that 21 per cent failed to identify that HIV can be transmitted between a man and a woman who don’t use a condom.
26 per cent failed to identify that HIV can be transmitted between two men who don’t use a condom.
24 per cent of people who have had a new sexual partner within the last two years say they would only stop using a condom once they and their partner have both been tested for HIV and other STIs.
A further 17 per cent say they would always use a condom.