Durex Stops Making Condoms With Nonoxynol-9 Due to Possible Increased Risk of HIV Transmission
January 21, 2004
SSL International, the maker of Durex condoms, has stopped producing condoms containing the spermicide nonoxynol-9, which in recent studies has shown that it may increase the risk of HIV transmission, BBC News reports (BBC News, 1/20). Nonoxynol-9 works as a vaginal contraceptive by damaging the cell membranes of sperm, and some laboratory evidence has shown that the spermicide damages the cell walls of some organisms that cause sexually transmitted diseases and is active against some bacteria and viruses. According to data presented in January 2003, nonoxynol-9's membrane-damaging effect can also harm the cell lining of the vagina and cervix, possibly increasing the risk of STD and HIV transmission in women who use the spermicide (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/29/03). The World Health Organization, UNAIDS and the CDC have raised concerns about the use of the spermicide in condoms. In a statement, SSL said that it "is anticipating a material reduction in demand for spermicidally lubricated condoms following a recent WHO report which questioned the level of additional protection provided by such condoms when compared to non-spermicidally lubricated condoms. In light of this, SSL decided to discontinue using the spermicide N-9 in our condom manufacturing process."
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.