Responding to mounting evidence that the spermicide nonoxynol-9 makes it easier to be infected with HIV, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its European division announced Monday that they have ceased production of their self-branded line of condoms that included the spermicide, the San Francisco Examiner reports. Mayer Laboratories, maker of Kimono and MAXX Plus condoms, also recently stopped making and marketing condoms containing nonoxynol-9. Research in San Francisco shows that past claims that nonoxynol-9 may prevent HIV infection still resonate among sexually active gay men--a recent study showed that 41% still seek out condoms containing the compound.
Activists say that with such widespread usage, it makes more sense to pull the products from the market than to launch an educational campaign about the HIV risks associated with nonoxynol-9. The world's three largest condom makers--Ansell (Lifestyles condoms), Church and Dwight (Trojan), and SSL International (Durex)--say they will continue to produce products containing the spermicide because the compound is effective at preventing unwanted pregnancies.