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Jul 30, 2001

Are water/soluble lubricants (i.e Ky Jelly) considered further protection in addition to condoms?

Response from Mr. Kull

Water-based lubricants may provide additional protection against HIV transmission by improving the effectiveness of latex condoms. Water-based lubrication can reduce friction during sexual intercourse which could decrease the risk of tearing or breakage to the condom. Lubrication may also decrease the risk of microscopic tearing or irritation to the lining of the vagina and rectum.

The CDC recommends that people interested in preventing HIV transmission avoid using lubrication with the spermicide nonoxynol-9 in it. Some condoms with lubrication contain nonoxynol-9. Research suggests that spermicides like nonoxynol-9 can cause irritation to the mucous membranes of the genitals, increasing the risk of HIV transmission when exposed to infected fluids. See my response to "Spermicides" (


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