Two preliminary studies presented this past weekend indicate there may be an increased risk for HIV infection from using certain lubricants during unprotected anal sex. This risk applies to the receptive partner equally among men and women.
The first study indicates that there is a possibility that general use of some lubricants may increase risk for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. No specific lubricants were identified as more likely to cause the effect.
In the second study, the presence of certain dissolved salts and sugars are suggested in tests to have a toxic effect on cells and rectal tissue. In the toxicology test, the brands PRE and Wet Platinum were found to be safest and Astroglide and KY Jelly appeared to be "the most problematic."
These tests are not conclusive but they are long overdue. The goal of the research team (which includes collaborators from International Rectal Microbicide Advocates) is "to provide consumer guidance regarding lubes that are found to be safer than others," according to IRMA advocate Marc-Andre LeBlanc.
The two studies were presented in Pittsburgh at the International Microbicides Conference.