Colorado: Results of Condom Testing a Concern
July 22, 2005
Colorado purchases a variety of condoms each year and provides them to nonprofit programs for distribution. However, a recent Consumer Reports article on condom reliability has raised questions about the condom brand Lifestyles, one of several the state purchases.
The article rated Lifestyles in the "good" category overall, but a few agencies that distribute state-purchased condoms wonder whether Lifestyles and other brands are as reliable as they should be. "We talk about giving people different options to keep themselves at low risk, so being able to offer condoms that are reliable and dependable is really important," said John Nelson of the Colorado AIDS Project.
A counselor at a Denver adolescent program said she warns clients, "I don't know if it's true, but Lifestyles condoms might be weaker" and encourages them to use two types of protection.
Consumer Reports filled the latex condoms with air and graded them on breakage after 25 liters. The Food and Drug Administration requires that condoms hold 16 liters of air.
"We know that they are meeting what FDA feels is the standard for safety and performance," said Dr. Ned Calonge, chief medical officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health.
Colorado buys 670,432 condoms yearly for $54,094, and distributes them to more than 100 nonprofit agencies. It has distributed condoms to nonprofits since 1986, said Calonge.
Carol Carozza of Ansell Healthcare, Lifestyles' parent company, said Lifestyles meets a global standard of holding 18 liters of air during airburst tests. "This wasn't a total ranking of all categories or brands out there," Carozza said. "It was a list of the 21 best, of which there were several Lifestyles."
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.