Sexual Health news - Sexual Health and Behavior

Condoms treated with silver nanoparticles could lower rates of HIV and other STDs

While condoms are one of the most reliable forms of protection available for sexually active individuals, they are not exactly foolproof. According to, condoms have a 15 percent failure rate, which could lead to the contraction of a sexually transmitted disease if users are not careful. Luckily, a group of researchers at the University of Manitoba have recently made great strides in the effectiveness of condoms by treating them with silver nanoparticles. Silver, which is known to have disinfectant abilities, seemed to kill both HIV and herpes viruses during lab experiments. Because of this, the discovery could prove to be a breakthrough in the sexual health field.

According to The National Post, the researchers used advances in nanoparticles, consisting of clusters of atoms which are created in a laboratory that can alter the chemical properties of specific elements. In this case, for reasons unknown to scientists, the silver nanoparticles seemed to effectively inactivate viruses like HIV, herpes and other STDs.

"At such nanoscale, the extremely small size of silver particles exhibits remarkable, unusual physio-chemical properties and biological activity," said Dr. Xiaojian Yao, lead author of the study, as quoted by the news source.

While the research is still in its early stages and won't be on the market for quite some time, the study showcases one of the most exciting advances in the sexual health field. In addition to reducing STD rates from sexual contact, the researchers believe that safer condoms could lessen the chances of an individual becoming infected by touching a used condom. These dynamic silver nanoparticles could prove to be a pivotal advance in condom technology and one that could reduce STD rates when they hit the market.