Mar 13, 2009 | 2
Public health advocates have long touted the female condom as a way for women to protect themselves against HIV, especially if their partner didn’t want to use a male prophylactic. But while the female condom has been distributed around the world over the last 16 years, it may make a bigger splash if it's cheaper.
The polyurethane sheath, originally approved in 1993, costs anywhere from $2.80 to $4 a piece – a steep price for women in developing countries to whom the condom was marketed (never mind those in the U.S., who could pick up several of the male version for not much more than that — or for free), Reuters reports. That may change, now that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a next-gen female condom made of synthetic nitrile (a form of rubber) that costs less money for its manufacturer, the Chicago-based Female Health Company, to make. The cost of the new female condom, FC2, could fall to around 60 cents per device for health groups and government agencies that want to buy them, according to the newswire. Male condoms typically cost around 50 cents each.
Feb 13, 2009 | 5
Wondering if your sweetheart is going to buy you a box of condoms instead of a box of chocolates for Valentine's Day? Maybe your lover's celebrating two holidays at once: February is also National Condom Month.
Yes, public health advocates chose the most romantic time of year to promote the condom, that ubiquitous rubber device that safe-sex folks love and most of us love to hate (including Seinfeld's George Costanza, as you'll see in this clip). Which isn’t to say it's not useful: 19 million new sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) occur in the U.S. each year, half of them among people ages 15-to-24, according to the American Social Health Association (ASHA). Latex condoms, used correctly, can prevent HIV transmission 80 percent to 95 percent of the time, according to a 2008 review in Sexual Health. They also reduce the risk of STDs, including gonorrhea, Chlamydia and trichomoniasis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says, and are 85 percent to 98 percent effective in preventing pregnancy.
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The Dow Chemical Company is the leading producer of polyalkylene glycols (PAGs) used in synthetic fluids and lubricants where petroleum,
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