Barrier Methods

Condoms II

[The following information on this webpage is an excerpt from the booklet Condom Expose'. "This document is a compendium and summary of the latest scientific information about the most widely-used contraceptive device in the world today — the male condom.  This summary draws from many sources, but focuses primarily on medical journals. This summary is intended to be a resource for those who need straightforward, simple and concise facts about condoms." The entire report can be found at http://www.hli.org/condom_expose_complete.html.] The basic problem is as follows.  No matter how much `safe(r) sex’ education is taught, no matter how many bowls of free condoms are left in plain view, and no matter how much contraceptive marketing is propagated, there are a number of mechanical and human factors that simply cannot be controlled [3]; *    Condoms break and slip off *    They age.  One study found that the breakage rate for condoms increased from 3.6% for new condoms to as high as 18.6% for condoms several years old.[4] *    They deteriorate in even the best of conditions, but even more rapidly in extremely cold or hot situations.  Condom wrappers recommend storing the product at temperatures between 59 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit.  One researcher found that, at major condom distribution points in New Jersey and New York, boxes of condoms were left outdoors in the ice and snow during the dead of winter.  During the summer months, the researcher took photographs of eggs frying on the floors of dozens of trucks and containers where condoms were stored in temperatures exceeding 180 degrees.[5]  High temperatures cause oxidation and freezing temperatures cause crystallization in some...

Nonoxynol-9 (2002-2004): 3 articles

During the XIII International AIDS Conference held in Durban, South Africa, July 2000, researchers from the Joint United Nations Program on AIDS (UNAIDS) presented results of a study of a product, COL-1492,* which contains nonoxynol-9 (N-9) (1). N-9 products are licensed for use in the United States as spermicides and are effective in preventing pregnancy, particularly when used with a diaphragm. The study examined the use of COL-1492 as a potential candidate microbicide, or topical compound to prevent the transmission of HIV and STDs. The study found that N-9 did not protect against HIV infection and may have caused more transmission. The women who used N-9 gel became infected with HIV at approx. a 50% higher rate than women who used the placebo gel. CDC has released a “Dear Colleague” letter that summarizes the findings and implications of the UNAIDS study at http://www.cdc.gov/hiv; a hard copy is available from the National Prevention Information Network, telephone (800) 458-5231. Future consultations will be held to re-evaluate guidelines for HIV, STDs, and pregnancy prevention in populations at high risk for HIV infection.   FDA ANSWERS QUESTIONS REGARDING PRODUCTS CONTAINING NONOXYNOL-9 (N-9)The Food and Drug Administration answered questions on Monday, June 21, 2004 that were asked earlier in the year by the U.S. House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources. In their response, the FDA stated that studies show that Nonoxynol-9 (N-9) does NOT protect against HIV/AIDS and other STDs, but is unsure if it actually increases the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. While the FDA will allow vaginal contraceptive devices containing N-9 to stay on the market, they will require a...

Condoms – Cumulative Effectiveness (Over Time)

The Impact of Cumulative Effectiveness   Cumulative effectiveness refers to the likelihood of becoming infected with an STD over time. In other words, to what extent does sexual activity with an infected partner over an extended period of time increase the risk – that is, create a cumulative risk? And to what extent are condoms effective at reducing this cumulative risk – that is, provide cumulative effectiveness? Authors Mann, Stine and Vessey published an article in June of 2002 that expanded on this concept of cumulative effectiveness. These researchers used the role of disease-specific infectivity and the number of disease exposures to determine the long-term effectiveness of the latex condom.1 The authors explored the scenario of females having sex with males infected with gonorrhea. The risk of females acquiring gonorrhea from infected males is believed to be 50 percent from one act of sex without using a condom.2   For their calculations the authors used a 3 percent slippage and breakage rate. Assuming the condoms were used correctly and allowing only for a 3 percent chance of slippage and breakage, 1.5 percent of women in this scenario would be expected to acquire gonorrhea after one act of sex with an infected partner. After 10 acts of sex one would expect 14 percent of the women to become infected and after 30 acts of sex with an infected partner, the expected risk would escalate to 37 percent even with perfect condom use. While the authors did not address the scenario of incorrect or inconsistent use, one would expect these additional factors to dramatically increase one’s risk of infection.  1 Mann JR, Stine CC, Vessey J. The role...

CDC: Correct Condom Use

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other organizations emphasize the importance of both consistent and correct condom use for the prevention of STD transmission. While consistent condom use itself is uncommon, even fewer individuals use condoms both consistently and correctly.  Incorrect use includes failure to use a condom during the entire sexual exposure, putting the condom on incorrectly, failure to withdraw the penis while it is still erect, and other such mistakes.    Read More on Correct Condom Use…  www.medinstitute.org    [The Medical Institute...

Gel To Stop Stds Holds Empty Promise

Gels can be considered a barrier or a chemical method of birth control. They do not prevent ovulation, but rather the primary action is to kill sperm. BufferGelTM, a new contraceptive to block ‘sperm and germs’ , according to scientists, will begin clinical efficacy trials at the National Institutes of Health’s Contraceptive Clinical Trials Network on 1,000 women in the USA. John Diggs, M.D.: "The company tries to present the gel as a new phase in the battle against [STDs]. The recurrent news releases about one gel or another to stop STDs were first noted about one year ago. Coincidentally, at the time, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) was authoring a meta-analysis of condom research that exposed the absence of science to show condoms can quell the worldwide STD epidemic. This was big news. If the idea of ‘safe sex’ or ‘protected intercourse’ were to be maintained, one of two things needed to happen. One, condoms needed to dramatically improve as a public health intervention. Failing that, a new technology needed to come to the forefront. "BufferGelTM is billed as one of the new products that will revolutionize STD prevention. Closer inspection reveals this it holds all the promise of Al Capone’s empty vault." "The most obvious observation is that the gel has yet to be shown effective. More than two years ago, at least four different gels, including BufferGelTM were thought to show promise; but protection against STDs is still unproven in any of them. "Second, the gel is not an independent product. It still requires the use of a vaginal diaphragm, a product...

Condoms I

Condoms are often portrayed as a means of "safe sex" to provide protection from pregnancy and all STDs. It should be noted that generically (all races, ages, & marital status) condoms fail to prevent pregnancy about 16% of the time, and condoms provide only minimal protection at best against any STD,  including HIV/AIDS.     For a Fact Sheet on Condoms, visit: http://www.hli.org/http://www.hli.org/http://www.hli.org/condom_expose_complete.html or http://www.hli.org/Fact%20Sheet%20on%20Condom%20Failure.html   A draft report for the UN's AIDS agency found that even when people use condoms consistently, the failure rate for protection against HIV is an estimated 10 percent (10%), making them a larger risk than portrayed by many advocate groups. The final study, published by the United Nations AIDS agency (UNAIDS) shows that condoms are ineffective in protecting against HIV an estimated 10% of the time. "The admission from the UN, which is far lower than some studies which have shown larger than 50% failure rates, is a blow to populations control activitst which have aggressively and misleadingly marketed condoms in the third world as 100 percent effective." The report examined two decades of scientific literature on condoms, and UNAIDS says that lead author Norman Hearst "makes a cogent argument that we should be talking about safer sex, not safe sex, with condoms." [emphasis added]  The Boston Globe quotes Edward Green, a senior research scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health, saying the one in 10 failure rate of condoms protection from AIDS is "not good enough for a fatal disease." He said, "The way condoms are marketed in Africa and other develping parts of the world is as if they were 100 percent safe. Condoms have brand...