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AIDS. 1987 May;1(1):49-52.

The latex condom, an efficient barrier against sexual transmission of AIDS-related viruses.

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Saint-Pierre University Hospital, Laboratory of Microbiology, Brussels, Belgium.


Using a mechanical model, we studied human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) leakage through six different trademark condoms. The presence of the recovered virus was determined after passage to MT-2 cells and to cultured mitogen-stimulated normal human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PMC). Only the natural membrane condom showed virus leakage after inside pressure. In addition, the kinetics of virus inactivation at 37 degrees C were followed inside and outside the condom. The virus was partially inactivated after 10 min at 37 degrees C inside the condom, but the degree of inactivation seemed higher in some of the trademark condoms.


6 trademark condoms, 5 made of latex (Durex Coral, Ortho Shields, Prime, KLV, and Man-To-Man) and 1 lubricated natural membrane condom (Kling-Tite Naturalamb) were tested mechanically to determine whether they were effective barriers to leakage of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). A 3 ml suspension of HIV concentrate was put into each condom and the condom placed over the plunger of a disposable syringe. The plunger was vigorously pumped as many as 50 times for each condom. No virus crossed the membrane of any of the latex condoms, but a significant passage of retroviral antigen through a leak in the natural membrane condom occurred after only 10 pumping movements. In addition some of the latex condoms were treated with spermicide, and these showed varying degrees of virus inactivation inside the condom. Further studies should be done on the use of spermicide-treated condoms. In any case, the use of condoms should be promoted among groups at high risk for AIDS such as prostitutes in Central Africa where condom use remains unpopular.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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