CONDOMS – A complete guide to associated risks
by: aimulti( 108)
CONDOMS AS PROTECTION
Editor of Rubber Chemistry and Technology, Dr. C. Michael Roland of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington D.C., spoke about his research on “intrinsic flaws” in latex rubber condoms and surgical gloves (published in Rubber World, June, 1993).
Roland said that what I am about to relate is “common knowledge among good scientists who have no political agenda.”
Electron microscopy reveals the HIV virus to be about O.1 microns in size (a micron is a millionth of a metre). It is 60 times smaller than a syphilis bacterium, and 450 times smaller than a single human sperm.
The standard U.S. government leakage test (ASTM) will detect water leakage through holes only as small as 10 to 12 microns (most condoms sold in Canada are made in the U.S.A., but I’ll mention the Canadian test below).
Roland says in good tests based on these standards, 33% of all condoms tested allowed HIV-sized particles through, and that “spermicidal agents such as nonoxonol-9 may actually ease the passage.”
Roland’s paper shows electron microscopy photos of natural latex. You can see the natural holes, or intrinsic flaws. The “inherent defects in natural rubber range between 5 and 70 microns.”
And it’s not as if governments don’t know. A study by Dr. R.F. Carey of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that “leakage of HIV-sized particles through latex condoms was detectable for as many as 29 of 89 condoms tested.” These were brand new, pre-approved condoms. But Roland says a closer reading of Carey’s data actually yields a 78% HIV-leakage rate, and concludes: “That the CDC would promote condoms based on [this]study…suggests its agenda is concerned with something other than public health and welfare.” The federal government’s standard tests, he adds,”cannot detect flaws even 70 times larger than the AIDS virus.” Such tests are “blind to leakage volumes less tha one microliter – yet this quantity of fluid from an AIDS-infected individual has been found to contain as many as 100,000 HIV particles.”
As one U.S. surgeon memorably put it, “The HIV virus can go through a condom like a bullet through a tennis net.”
It’s the same story with latex gloves. Gloves from four different
manufacturers revealed “pits as large as 15 microns wide and 30 microns deep.” More relevant to HIV transmission, “5 micron-wide channels, penetrating the entire thickness were found in all the gloves.” He said the presence of such defects in latex “is well established.”
For Canada, the story is the same. A standard Health and Welfare Canada test of condoms manufactured between 1987 and 1990, based on stringent tests of pressure, leakage, and volume (as in the U.S., there is no effortto examine micron-level leakage), reported that an astonishing 40% of the condoms tested failed at least one of the tests. Tests in 1991 showed an “improved” 28% rate.
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