Gay men recruited to test condoms

A UNIVERSITY is to pay 600 gay men to have sex as part of a research project investigating the strength of condoms. The project involves 300 gay couples who will be paid pounds 40 and provided with a supply of condoms. The volunteers have been selected because they do not usually use protection - or use only normal strength condoms - when having sex. All the men are aged 18 or over and men who are HIV positive will not be precluded if they are in good health at the time of the trials.

The research, to be conducted by the Family and Child Psychology Research Centre of City University, London, has been commissioned by a condom manufacturer. It will examine the breakage rate of standard and stronger condoms and establish whether thicker condoms are safer than ordinary ones.

The university says the tests will help to reduce the transmission of the HIV virus. Each couple will be given nine condoms of varying strengths and a report sheet which they will fill in and return to the university. The nature of these "blind trials" means that the identity of the manufacturer cannot be revealed until the results are published in September.

"This research explores an area with a large lack of knowledge," said a spokeswoman for City University. "Condoms are currently recommended for prevention of HIV transmission for gay men - it's important to evaluate their effectiveness to see if this is accurate. This is vigorous and relevant research rather than an academic exercise."

Gay groups and HIV health workers have welcomed the trials. "It's an excellent move," said Michael Carter, a spokesman for the Terrence Higgins Trust. "The easier you make it for people to have safer sex the better."

But the research has angered Baroness Knight of Collingtree, formerly the Conservative MP Jill Knight, who fears that individuals may be exploited by the project. "Students are a pretty impecunious bunch and may not be able to resist having pounds 40 dangled in front of them," she said. "Is it a proper function of a university to carry out research which involves recruiting and paying 600 homosexual males to have anal intercourse?"

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Angel Di Maria is shown the red card
tech
Sport
Roger Federer after his win over Tomas Berdych
sport
Life and Style
News in briefs: big pants in 'Bridget Jones's Diary'
fashionBig knickers are back
Sport
James Milner is set to sign for Liverpool this week despite rival interest from Arsenal
sportReds baulk at Benteke £32.5m release clause
News
The controversial Motor Neurone Disease Association poster, featuring sufferer Michael Smith, has drawn a series of angry complaints
newsThis one has been criticised for its 'threatening tone'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: European Sales Director - Aerospace Cable & Wire

£100000 - £125000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a top tier supplier to the...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Project Manager

£17100 - £22900 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the North West's leading...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an intermediate help de...

Recruitment Genius: CNC Turner

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This long established manufactu...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral