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Med Trop (Mars). 2005 Nov;65(6):575-9.

[In vitro studies of factors possibly influencing the performance of latex condoms].

[Article in French]

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Etablissements Centraux du Service de Santé des Armées, France.


Male condoms are undoubtedly the best protection against sexually transmitted diseases. The French Military Health Service buys condoms from civilian manufacturers using a public purchasing process. This process includes strict technical analysis that allows selection of the best supplier. In addition each batch of condoms delivered to French armed forces undergoes quality testing in the laboratory of the Armed Services Central Pharmacy before being distributed to troops. Despite these strict control measures, several isss remain unclear. One issue involves the shelf life of condoms stored in warm humid tropical conditions. Another issue involves the effect of lubricants on condom quality. The purpose of this report is to describe a study designed to gain insight into these two issues. This study was conducted by the Armed Services Central Pharmacy in colaboration with the Procuremnt and Central Establishment Directorate. Findings showed that stage conditions have no negative effects on the intrinsic physico-chemial properties of condoms supplied by two different manufacturers. Conversely use of inadequate lubricants (alimentary or cosmetic compounds) appeared to have extremely deleterious effects on condom quality. Laboratory tests showed that lubricants composed mainly of fatty acids dramatically decreased the effectiveness of condoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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