There are three types of condom materials natural materials,
latex rubber and plastic. The earliest condoms were sheaths
made from animal intestines, bladders and skins. These natural
condoms have been used for thousands of years and are still
available in some countries. While they are an effective barrier
against sperm and bacterial STDs, they are not as effective
against viral organisms such as HIV, which are smaller than
bacteria. Natural condoms allow the transfer of body heat between
Rubber condoms were developed in the 19th century, followed
by latex rubber in the 20th century. They are less porous than
natural condoms and, hence, form a more effective barrier that
can block smaller organisms, such as HIV. However, latex condoms
reduce heat transfer, which may contribute to reduced sexual
Various types of plastic male condoms are under development,
and one brand is on the market in the United States and Europe.
Plastic condoms provide an effective barrier against HIV as
well as bacterial STDs, while at the same time allowing better
transfer of heat.
Since most condom users are still using latex condoms, the
information described in this presentation refers to the latex
rubber condom unless otherwise specified.