BARCELONA, Spain, July 12 (UPI) -- Extra lubrication with
spermicide reduces condom breakage and the risk of infection with
sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, a British
researcher said Friday at the 14th International AIDS Conference.
Furthermore, said Mark Gabbay of the University of Liverpool, the
extra wetness significantly increases pleasure for both men and
"Acceptable and effective additional lubrication will boost
condom popularity," Gabbay told conference attendees, which in
turn will help to reduce HIV transmission because more people
will use condoms. He said condom failures potentially expose
couples around the world to more than 255 million pregnancies and
sexually transmitted diseases every year.
The researchers followed 145 heterosexual couples, who used
12,530 condoms during the study, Gabbay said. Very few of the
condoms in the study broke, Gabbay said, but more than twice as
many failed in the group that did not use extra lubrication.
Physician Ronald Valdiserri, of the Centers for Disease Control
in Atlanta, said the idea extra lubrication reduces condom
breakage is "not unknown in the health field, but it's great we
have a study to show it." He added most studies on condom failure
show the users -- not the product -- failed. "They didn't put it
on, or they had sex for a while and then put it on, or it came
off," Valdiserri said.
In the study, couples were switched from one group to another so
they were able to rate the difference between condoms with and
without extra lubrication. Gabbay said some couples found the
extra lubrication messy or an unwanted interruption. However, a
"significant proportion considered sex with additional spermicide
to be more pleasurable," he said.
"It's great the scientists asked that question," Valdiserri said.
"It's a hint for the marketers: If people like it more, people
are going to buy it more."