The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association issued a recommendation Monday to all sexually active gay and bisexual men to avoid using personal lubricants or condoms that contain the spermicide nonoxynol-9 because of mounting data showing that the compound facilitates HIV transmission.
"At one time it was thought that [nonoxynol-9] might offer some protection against HIV," said GLMA president Christopher E. Harris. "It does not. Recent research indicates that using N-9 rectally might cause the thin layers of cells that line the rectum to become inflamed, possibly enhancing the risk of HIV transmission, especially when multiple sex partners are involved."
GLMA is urging gay and bisexual men to check the labels on condom and lubricant packages to make sure the products they buy do not contain nonoxynol-9, and it is encouraging health care providers to talk with their patients about the HIV exposure risks associated with the compound.