Australian Olympics Team to Receive Anti-Zika Condoms for Rio 2016

On May 16, 2016, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) announced that the country’s Olympic team members will receive Dual Protect VivaGel condoms, the world’s only antiviral condom, for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

On May 16, 2016, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) announced that the country’s Olympic team members will receive Dual Protect VivaGel condoms, the world’s only antiviral condom, for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Approximately 80% of individuals infected with Zika are asymptomatic; however, the virus has been linked to severe neurological complications and can even be fatal. Previously, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the Zika virus can be sexually transmitted from an infected male to a partner.

Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) released a statement concerning the 2016 Olympic Games. The 2 organizations will be advising the government of Brazil on public health measures. The top priority at the moment is reducing Aedes aegypti mosquito populations, which transmit Zika in addition to Dengue, Chikungunya, and yellow fever, in Rio. Furthermore, WHO/PAHO will also recommend infection prevention methods, to help protect both athletes and visitors against the Zika virus, to the International Olympic Committee and, by extension, the Rio 2016 Local Organization Committee.

Dual Protect is currently the world’s only condom brand that contains the lubricant, VivaGel, which has been lab-confirmed to inactivate sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, genital herpes, and the human papillomavirus. In laboratory studies, the condom has proven to show “near complete antiviral protection against [the] Zika virus… at levels significantly below the concentration in Dual Protect condoms.”

Manufactured in Australia, the condoms are a collaborative product of both Starpharma (which engineered VivaGel) and Ansell (which created the condom). The condoms will soon be available in other countries.

Jeyan Heper, president and general manager of the Sexual Wellness Global Business Unit at Ansell, stated, “Ansell’s mission is to provide innovative solutions for safety, well-being, and peace of mind, no matter who or where you are, and our LifeStyles Dual Protect condoms, developed in cooperation with Starpharma, combine a high-quality condom with patented anti-viral technology.”

Furthermore, Kitty Chiller, the chef de mission of the 2016 Australian Olympic Team, stated that that the health and well-being of the team members is the committee’s top priority. She also stated that providing anti-Zika condoms is a “common sense approach” to warding off Zika infections once the team is in Brazil. To further protect the team members, the AOC previously announced that Bushman will be the team’s “official insect repellent supplier.”