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Distributed condoms will do the job

There have been a few reports that the condoms purchased by the Housing Office and distributed through the living groups had breakage problems.

Around the time of these reports, some students became concerned about the quality of these condoms after reading a condom rating article in Consumer Reports.

In fact, there had been a recall of condoms made by the same company which manufactures the condoms presently distributed at MIT living groups.

In response to student concerns, I contacted the manufacturer -- Ansell Medical. The company representative assures me that the recalled condoms are no longer manufactured; the significant failure rate of the condoms was due to the vehicle of the nonoxynol-9. The vehicle has been changed.

The recalled condoms were taken off the market in 1988, two years prior to the institution of the MIT condom distribution program; consequently, none of the recalled condoms were distributed at MIT. All condoms are tested in several ways at the manufacturer prior to distribution.

The type of condoms chosen for distribution in the living groups was selected on the basis of the latex material which has been demonstrated to be impervious to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Further, the addition of the chemical nonoxynol-9 to each condom allows even more anti-HIV protection. This type of condom has been previously distributed at MIT without problems.

If latex condoms with nonoxynol-9 are used in a consistent and proper way, there will be a reduction in the risk of transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Mark A. Goldstein->

Chief->

Student Health Services->