Condom packaging, 'Carex'


Empty carton of 'Carex' lubricated Type A condoms with Nonoxynol 9 spermicide, with instruction leaflet, distributed by Carex Trading PTE, Malasia, c1994 (expiry date November 1997)

Part of a small personal collection of condoms and packaging dating from around the 1990s, this product is an example of the increased use of condoms internationally following the emergence of HIV and AIDS. Previously marketed as contraception, condom products diversified as they began to be targeted at a wider range of people, which led to new flavours, textures, and colours.

These condoms were lubricated with the spermicidal compound nonoxynol-9, which was promoted as a microbicide for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. Microbicides are substances that can be applied to the vagina or rectum in order to reduce the possibility of transmission of sexually transmitted infections. However, studies have shown that frequent use of nonoxynol-9 can actually increase HIV infection rates by causing damage to vaginal and rectal tissue. In 2003 the World Health Organisation recommended that condoms lubricated with the substance should no longer be promoted.


Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Contraception
Object Number:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment