Legislators, Advocates Call for Removal From Market of Condoms With Spermicide
In an open letter to the FDA and condom manufacturers, California state lawmakers, HIV/AIDS advocates and women's advocacy groups last week asked the country's largest producers of condoms to stop using the spermicide nonoxynol-9, the Los Angeles Times reports. Assembly member Paul Koretz (D-West Hollywood) and Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson (D-Los Angeles) were among those who signed the letter, which said that recent studies found that the spermicide does not help prevent sexually transmitted diseases and "in some circumstances it actually increases the risk of contracting HIV." Koretz said, "Since January, I've tried to negotiate quietly with representatives [of condom companies] to encourage them to phase out nonoxynol-9," adding, "They've dug in their heels and now refuse to meet with California health officials." The letter cited condom makers Church & Dwight, which manufactures Trojan condoms, and Australian company Ansell Limited, which makes Lifestyle brand condoms, as manufacturers that use the spermicide. Johnson & Johnson, which makes K-Y lubricant jelly, and Mayer, which makes the Kimono brand of condom, have stopped manufacturing condoms with nonoxynol-9, according to the Times. Approximately 35% of the condoms sold in the United States contain a spermicide, and nonoxynol-9 is currently the only one used (Richardson, Los Angeles Times, 8/28). A segment on "Capital Public Radio" last week reported on the letter addressing nonoxynol-9 in condoms, and included comments from Koretz (Montgomery, "Capital Public Radio," 8/27). The full segment is available online in RealPlayer.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.