Durex withdraws N-9 condoms

The maker of Durex has ceased production of condoms containing the spermicide lubricant, nonoxynol-9 (N-9). Recent studies showed that it may actually increase the risk of HIV infection and was highlighted by the World Health Organisation and UNAIDS.

N-9 was originally developed as a detergent, and has been used for nearly 50 years as a vaginal cream that rapidly kills sperm cells. N-9 can also act to break up or irritate the cell lining, or epithelium, of the rectum and the vagina – and can make it easier for a virus or other infective organism to invade. The danger in anal sex is especially significant because the rectum has only a single-cell wall. The vagina has a wall that is about 40 cells thick.

Source: BBC News – Tuesday, 20 January, 2004

See: UK campaign to remove Nonoxynol-9 from condoms and lubricants, HTB Vol 4 No 5.

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