Chinese state media (I know, reputable) report that condoms being recycled into hairbands are posing an HIV/AIDS transmission risk. Really? HIV/AIDS can only live outside of the human body for at most 15 days in highly-controlled laboratory settings, and fluids lose 90-95% of their viral load through exposure to air. For HPV, though it can also live on outside the human body in the form of fluids present on objects (towels, toys, and the like), it’s most commonly transmitted through skin-to-skin contact — the risk of transmission after days, let alone what chemical process they may go through as part of rubber or latex recycling, is tiny.
Not that I’ll be doing a MAKE: Used-Condoms-Into-Accessories weekend project anytime soon, but are there any reports from China directly on this one? Are there now pink bins for condom recycling?