A virus-killing condom is about to go on sale in Australia. Yes, regular latex condoms are effective at preventing HIV from spreading, but are not 100% effective, and that is where the new super duper condom comes in.
An Australian company has developed an antiviral compound called VivaGel. Maker Stapharma says lab tests have shown it can destroy or deactivate up to 99.9 percent of HIV, herpes and other sexually transmitted viruses.
Stapharma executive Dr. Jackie Fairley told Live Science.
“Condoms are not 100 per cent effective in preventing either pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections and so anything that you can do to reduce the number of virus particles by inactivating them with a substance like VivaGel would reduce reduce that overall viral load.”
Stapharma has teamed up with condom maker Ansell, also based in Australia, to create a product that combines the VivaGel antiviral substance with lubricant. The condoms are lubricated with VivaGel, which contains 0.5 per cent astodrimer sodium – a non-antibiotic, antimicrobial drug designed specifically as a compound against HIV.
The new, one of a kind condom should be available to buy in the coming months. It is hoped the gel will help reduce the transmission of HIV and other STIs, while also reducing the risk of pregnancy.
The condom design has already been approved by Australian regulators with one final step remaining before it hits stores.