The effectiveness of rubber latex gloves as a barrier to human immunodeficiency virus.
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1988 May; :1-52
The effectiveness of rubber latex gloves used by medical workers in preventing the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was evaluated. The process used in the manufacture of latex gloves and condoms was described, and information was provided on standards for rubber surgical and examination gloves. Characteristics of latex gloves and condoms, quality control procedures, and durability were reviewed and discussed. The risk of glove transmitted HIV infection was assessed. The results of the study indicated that gloves made of natural rubber latex (single dipped) and plastic appeared to provide less than total protection against the virus, due both to the high percentage of holes in newly manufactured gloves as well as a lack of durability during use. The findings suggested that although some degree of protection was provided by the wearing of gloves, this protection was significantly less than the wearer believed it to be. Gloves made of polyvinyl-chloride and polyethylene were less durable than gloves made of natural rubber latex.
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