Perplexed by this study about condom pores !!!
Jul 8, 2011
I am confused by this study that revealed that HIV virus is smaller than the size of condom pores....I am really really worried about this finding. Dr.Bob, please help everyone by shedding lights on this study. Thank you Dr.Bob.
Response from Dr. Frascino
That's a rather ancient study from 1992. It's been discussed widely. Basically it examined whether HIV-sized beads could be forced through latex condoms under stressful laboratory conditions. The study used higher concentrations of the "virus" (polystyrene microspheres) than what is found in semen. It also used a fluid that isn't as "sticky" as semen and it used forces that simulated 10 minutes of thrusting AFTER ejaculation. Obviously these were not real-life situations! Ten minutes of thrusting after ejaculation!?!
The study found that even under these unrealistic conditions most latex condoms leaked absolutely nothing. The worst performing condom would still have reduced exposure risk by 10,000-fold (only 1 HIV virus might "leak" through 1 of every 90 condoms!). Other tests performed since this study have shown that under "normal" conditions HIV does not pass through intact latex condoms.
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