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Last Updated: Friday, 7 November, 2003, 13:27 GMT
Quiz: Do you know your condoms?

Do you know your lambskin from your latex? How much air should a condom be able to hold?

Used properly, condoms can significantly reduce the risk of HIV transmission during sex.

Test your knowledge of the contraceptive at the front line of the fight against Aids.

Which civilisation was the first to use condoms?
A: The Pharaohs of Egypt
B: The Romans
C: The Incas
What were the earliest condoms which have been found made of - and when did they date from?
A: Pre-Celtic contraptions made of horse leather
B: Fish and animal intestine condoms, dating from the English Civil War period
C: Roman-era condoms made from muscle tissue
D: Medieval condoms made from slivers of birch bark marinated in ale
Coming back to the present day, how many condoms does the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate the global population needs every year?
A: One billion
B: Seven billion
C: 24 billion
D: 52 billion
But how many does the WHO say are actually distributed?
A: One to two billion
B: Six to nine billion
C: 12 to 15 billion
D: More than 40 billion, but the US uses 80% of those
One type of condom on the market does not give protection against HIV. What is it made of?
A: Animal stomach lining
B: Waxed lycra
C: Biodegradable plastic
British people occasionally call condoms “French letters” but what do the French nickname them?
A: English raincoats
B: English curses
C: English gloves
Female condoms were invented in 1992 and can be used to line the vagina during sex. How long are they?
A: Approximately 8cm long
B: Approximately 11cm long
C: Approximately 15 cm long
In 1999, why did officals in South Africa recall a batch of free condoms?
A: They had been perforated by staples used to attach them to anti-Aids leaflets, rendering them useless
B: Religious groups were enraged that the condoms were given out at a local festival
C: The design on them libelled a leading South African sportsman
D: The local government decided they would switch to an abstinence promotion policy
Reputable manufacturers put their condoms through stringent tests for holes and flaws. How much air should a quality condom hold when it is blown up?
A: At least 5 litres
B: At least 10 litres
C: At least 25 litres
And finally, in what year did we see the first promotion of the condom as a benefit to sexual health, rather than just a contraceptive?
A: 1618 – An anonymous sonnet author who wrote: “This condumme that protects my sanitee and my oneness … ”
B: 1717 – D Turner writing on Syphilis comments: “The Condum being the best, if not the only Preservative our Libertines have found out at present”
C: 1811 – A pamphlet by eminent Birmingham doctor Sir Jeremiah Sumption on “The condom sheath as a prevention of ills among mill workers of a child-rearing age”

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