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Old 06-29-2005, 10:45 AM   #1
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By LINDA A. JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 52 minutes ago

TRENTON, N.J. - Everyone knows condoms prevent pregnancy and protect against sexually transmitted diseases. But how well do they work?


That question is at the center of a debate over whether the labels on condom packages should be changed.

On one side are abstinence advocates, including a conservative congressman who is blocking appointment of a new federal drug agency chief until the labels are changed. On the other side are "safe sex" advocates who fear label changes could undermine confidence in condoms and increase the spread of
AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Each side has some truth in its argument: Condoms are very effective against the AIDS virus, but data for their effectiveness against some other STDs is surprisingly spotty.

"They do not provide 100 percent protection, but for people who are sexually active they are the best and the only method we have for preventing these diseases," said Heather Boonstra, a public policy official with the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit group that researches reproductive health issues.

Boonstra said Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, a physician from Oklahoma, and the abstinence-promoting Medical Institute for Sexual Health are "manipulating this data to drive home their own anti-condom, anti-contraceptive message."

James Trussell, who serves on the board of the Guttmacher Institute and is director of Princeton University's Office of Population Research, said there is "absolutely incontrovertible evidence" that condoms reduce transmission of the most serious sexually transmitted disease, AIDS.

"To my mind, everything else is gravy," Trussell said this week. "All of this is ideologically motivated. What they're really concerned about is people who are not married having sex."

But John Hart, spokesman for Coburn, said the senator's June 15 hold on Lester Crawford's nomination as commissioner of the
Food and Drug Administration is an effort to make Crawford obey a 2000 law Coburn sponsored. It requires the FDA to change condom labels to give more information on their "effectiveness or lack of the effectiveness in preventing STDs."

Hart said FDA officials recently have said they will have a draft of the language soon. FDA spokeswoman Julie Zawisza said she could not discuss policy issues.

Dr. Marie Savard, a women's health specialist in Philadelphia, said she has qualms about using the word "ineffective" but agreed people need reliable information.

"The labeling should be changed to something like, 'condoms protect better against some STDs than others,'" Savard said.

Currently, FDA requires condom boxes and packets to state: "If used properly, latex condoms will help to reduce the risk of transmission of
HIV infection (AIDS) and many other sexually transmitted diseases." Many brands also state condoms are highly effective in preventing pregnancy.

When latex condoms are used every time and put on early enough, they reduce chances of pregnancy over a one-year period to 3 percent, compared with 85 percent without birth control. Likewise, condoms cut risk of HIV infection by about 80 percent, to less than a 1 percent chance of infection per year.

According to the
National Institutes of Health, condoms are impervious to the smallest viruses and only break or slip off 1 percent to 2 percent of the time. But surveys show most people don't use them properly or consistently, and roughly 12 million Americans each year contract an STD.

A 2001 NIH expert panel, convened at Coburn's request, examined dozens of published studies. It reported that for STDs besides AIDS and gonorrhea, for which condoms cut transmission by 50 percent to 100 percent, the evidence on protection is unclear because of weak and contradictory studies. Individual studies cited in the report give prevention rates ranging from 18 percent to 92 percent, depending on the disease.

The Medical Institute for Sexual Health's board chairman, Dr. Tom Fitch, who has previously pushed FDA officials for label changes, said some STDs are much more easily spread than others. In addition, STDs such as herpes and human papilloma virus, or HPV, can be transmitted by contact with skin not covered by a condom.

Fitch said he would not discourage condom use, but his group advocates abstinence or monogamy and it trains teachers how to teach students about abstinence.

That's an "unrealistic explanation" for young people, said Dr. Shari Brasner, an obstetrician/gynecologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York who has patients as young as 13 who are sexually active. "These conservatives are the same people that are trying to limit access to the morning-after (birth control) pill. They'll leave us with nothing."
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Old 06-29-2005, 11:01 AM   #2
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this depresses me to no end.

condoms, used correctly, work.

to say anything else is to endanger lives for the sake of a backwards, know-nothing agenda.
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Old 06-29-2005, 11:29 AM   #3
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Try masturbation kids!

I tried it once, and I never looked back.
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Old 06-29-2005, 11:31 AM   #4
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But how well do they work?
Is this a question that cannot be asked?
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Old 06-29-2005, 11:33 AM   #5
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Originally posted by financeguy
Try masturbation kids!

I tried it once, and I never looked back.




careful. that could get you fired from your job as Surgeon General.

god forbid we treat our children as anything other than blond angelic little vessels of chastity and purity who have no desires, no complex thoughts, no confusing emotions, no sexuality, no appetites, no weaknesses, no shortcomings, make no mistakes and live a perfectly virtuous Biblical life.
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Old 06-29-2005, 11:34 AM   #6
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


Is this a question that cannot be asked?
]




it's asked, and answered all the time.

when used correctly, condoms provide protection from pregnancy and most STDs around 99% of the time.

ask any doctor who isn't employed by the Family Research Counsil or a Republican Congressman.
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Old 06-29-2005, 11:40 AM   #7
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Originally posted by Irvine511
god forbid we treat our children as anything other than blond angelic little vessels of chastity and purity who have no desires, no complex thoughts, no confusing emotions, no sexuality, no appetites, no weaknesses, no shortcomings, make no mistakes and live a perfectly virtuous Biblical life.
Can we have one thread without a cheap shot at Christianity?
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Old 06-29-2005, 11:55 AM   #8
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


Can we have one thread without a cheap shot at Christianity?


can certain elements of Christianity stop distorting science to serve their agenda of social control?

i'll stop when they stop.
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Old 06-29-2005, 12:02 PM   #9
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I think you can do better than that.
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Old 06-29-2005, 12:06 PM   #10
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What does Christianity have to do with how well a condom works?
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Old 06-29-2005, 12:19 PM   #11
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
What does Christianity have to do with how well a condom works?


it is in the best interests of groups like Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, and the Family Research Council who promote a Biblically-based, abstinence-only (their words, not mine) approach to sexual education to advance the legitimacy of their agenda by distorting factual information that makes sexual behavior appear to be more risky than it actually is and to make birth control devices less reliable than they actually are. through distortions of science, they engender fear, and through fear, they can push an ideology based in faith not science.

huge thread on this a while ago -- some materials used as "fact" by these groups said that HIV can be transmitted through sweat and tears, that mutual maturbation can cause pregnancy, and that half of all gay teenagers have HIV.

all lies.

deady lies, too, for when you withold information on birth control and condoms, the more likely one is not to use anything should one choose to have sex.
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Old 06-29-2005, 12:21 PM   #12
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
I think you can do better than that.


no. all this stuff comes from certain right wing Christianist elements (enough adjectives there? of course i don't mean all Christians, or even Christianity). you don't see Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, atheists or agnostics twisting facts in order to promote their interpretation of how their religion views human sexuality.
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Old 06-29-2005, 12:23 PM   #13
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Originally posted by Irvine511
...that mutual maturbation can cause pregnancy...

...lies.
You should tell that to my cousin and her boyfriend, oh and their nine year old son....

Oh, by the way, I'm a Christian. I use condoms. Your arguement ends there then.
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Old 06-29-2005, 12:26 PM   #14
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You should tell that to my cousin and her boyfriend, oh and their nine year old son....

Oh, by the way, I'm a Christian. I use condoms. Your arguement ends there then.


fistly, the chances are very, very, very rare that mutual masturbation will cause pregnancy. of course it is possible, but you're more likely to be struck by lighting.

go and re-read my posts. nowhere did i say that Christians shouldn't use condoms, or that Christians didn't use condoms. i don't care what you do, so long as you are safe and happy.

however, the point you're missing is that there are elements of Christianity who would like you to think that using condoms is un-Christian.
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Old 06-29-2005, 12:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
all this stuff comes from certain right wing Christianist elements (enough adjectives there? of course i don't mean all Christians, or even Christianity).
Certain being the right word here, not all of us!!!!

Quote:
you don't see Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, atheists or agnostics twisting facts in order to promote their interpretation of how their religion views human sexuality.
Actually, as someone who has studied many religions around the world.... You do find them doing just that.
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