February / March #89 : N-9? - by Liz Highleyman

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Rapid Test Time

The Love Cure

Date Bait

Make It Last Forever

To Die For

A Gallo Gotcha

Neg & Pos

That '70s Show

Tribute: Tom Fahey



Heavy Medals

Sign Of The Times

Thief of HAARTs

Shine Some Light

Hokey Pokey

AIDS Acts Axed

Good China

Copay Through The Nose


Sore Winner?

Blame Candida

I Get Misty

Female Troubles

Fellow Travelers

Reality Check


America's Sweetheart

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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February / March 2003


by Liz Highleyman

Makers of sexual lube ended a 15-year controversy in October by agreeing to nix nonoxynol-9 (N-9) on the premise that, when it comes to HIV transmission, the damage it does to vaginal and rectal mucosal lining outweighs its spermicidal punch.

Why did the kabosh take so long? Partly because, although N-9's sperm-killing spunk in the lab nailed it as a no-brainer against HIV, prevention results in humans "were all over the map," says Anna Forbes of the Global Campaign for Microbicides (GCM). But a recent study confirming that N-9 does a napalm number in the rectum's protective lining led more than 80 public-health poobahs (including Gay Men's Health Crisis and Planned Parenthood) to pressure lube 'n' latex makers to hold the N-9. Lube guys complied, but some rubber barons -- including Durex, Lifestyles and Trojan -- refused, contending that N-9 prevents pregnancy.

The next big thing? Gel microbicides, though they're far from approval. Test tube results look good, but, Forbes reminds, the proof is in the, er, pudding -- "filling up an applicator and shooting it up the butt."

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