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Condom Tampering and storage

Oct 6, 1998

To Start off, thanks for making the effort to really educate people on such an important issue. My question is about condom tampering. At this point in time, it seems that there are numerous ways to attain condoms, even for free. One such way is through condom distribution programs. My concern is whether or not it is possible to tamper with a condom so that the person using it will contract the virus from the condom itself. Assuming that neither parner has HIV or AIDS, is it possible to in some way place the HIV virus on a condom. This concern arises because of the stories of people poking holes in condoms or even intentionally infecting others with HIV using syringes. Thanks again, and keep up the good work.

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Thank you for your question. I am not aware of any cases of "condom tampering", and HIV has never been transmitted this way.

As a general rule, whether we are talking about medications, food, condoms, whatever, never use health or food products where the packaging has been previously opened, packaging that has any holes in it, nor packaging that seems to have been tampered with. When you are using any health or food products, always check to make sure the packaging is intact.

On a related matter, just as you should not use medications or food beyond their expiration dates, you also should not use condoms beyond their expiration date (many condoms now come with an expiration date shown on the package). In addition, just as medications and food need to be stored properly, so do condoms. Condoms need to be stored in a cool, dark, dry place.

In summary, I am not aware of any cases of condom tampering. But just as you take steps to ensure the safety and quality of medications and food, you should also take steps to ensure the safety and quality of all food and health products, including condoms.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).

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