There are many things that can and should be recycled, but condoms are definitely not one of them.
In the United States, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted on its Twitter account an advisory urging people not to wash or reuse condoms, reported the Daily Mail.
“We say it, because people do it,” the CDC added in the tweet last week.
The post has since gone viral, with more than 1,000 retweets and 1,600 likes.
Many who commented on the post were bemused that some did not think it was obvious that condoms should not be washed and reused.
One user, champale mami, wrote: “I’m just upset that this is something that people needed to be told.”
The agency’s advice is to “use a fresh one for each sex act”, with a link in the tweet directing users to a CDC page on condom effectiveness and how to correctly use the contraception.
— CDC STD (@CDCSTD) July 23, 2018
According to British news website The Independent, a CDC health report in 2017 showed that only one-third of Americans use condoms.
In a 2012 study published in journal Sexual Health, added The Independent, study co-author and University of Kentucky professor Richard Crosby said researchers “chronically underestimated how complicated condom use can be”, after finding 1.4 per cent to 3.3 per cent of respondents had reused a condom at least twice during a sexual encounter.
Dr Elizabeth Torrone, an epidemiologist at the CDC’s division of sexually transmitted diseases prevention, told BuzzFeed News:
“Incorrect use, such as reusing a condom or using more than one at a time, diminishes the protective effect of condoms by leading to condom breakage, slippage or leakage.”