To the Editor.
—While latex condoms provide substantial protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), some allow the passage of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), 1 and HIV-size polystyrene particles.2 Viruses also sometimes leak through vinyl and latex examination gloves3 and lamb-skin condoms.4,5Polyurethane (PU) film is increasingly used for experimental condoms; assessment of its viral permeability is needed.We investigated gas and liquid phase permeability through the Wisconsin Pharmacal Company's (Jackson, Wis) PU vaginal condom, the Reality Vaginal Pouch. We tested permeability (under pressure heads of 30 mm Hg) of seamed and seamless membrane sections cut from condoms and compared them with sections containing a laser-induced hole (100, 25, 20, ≤10 μm) each larger than such common sexually transmitted viruses as hepatitis B (diameter, ≈42 nm) the HIV (diameter, 105±15 nm), or herpes virus (diameter, ≈135±15 nm).We also tested the permeability under the same pressure of
Voeller B, Coulter SL, Mayhan KG. Gas, Dye, and Viral Transport Through Polyurethane Condoms. JAMA. 1991;266(21):2986-2987. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470210054028