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Lemon juice vs. HIV?

Oct 24, 2002

I heard that in Australia a group of researchers descovered that lemon juice could inactivate HIV and kills semen due to the acid contained in the fruit. They also said that it could be a prevention during sex! What is your opinion about this notice?

Response from Mr. Kull

It's likely that there are many substances out there that can inactivate HIV in a test tube, but they might not be practical for use as an antimicrobial agent during sexual activity. A good example is nonoxynol-9: while it was found to be effective in inactivating HIV in laboratories, it turned out to be an irritant of the mucous membranes in many people, which actually increased their risk for infection when exposed to HIV. Lemon juice could potentially pose a similar problem.

Don't use lemon juice as a method for prevention yet. Until you see reliable studies conducted in humans, never base your prevention practices on preliminary or dubious information (like many things you can find on the internet). Condoms work really well; stick to that.


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