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No News Can Be Deadly News

ve8QAd   |   April 01, 2002

Here is an issue that is customarily out of the realm of pro-life organizations.  That is, the effectiveness of condoms in preventing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).  This is regularly dealt with by those promoting abstinence, but usually avoided by pro-life organizations not wanting to take a position on birth control.

That is totally understandable.  There is a clear difference between preventing human life from starting, and killing that life once it has begun.  The staff of Life Issues Institute has varying opinions on the right or wrong of contraception.  However, we all have one goal in common: the protection of innocent human life from the moment of fertilization to natural death.  That’’s what makes our diverse movement so effective.  Regardless of our political, religious or economic status, we are united behind this central mission.

Why address this issue now?  A report of monumental importance to the health and life of millions of Americans has recently come to my attention.  Considering its implications, it should have made front-page headlines in every paper in the nation at the time it was made public.  We shouldn’’t be surprised that the biased, secular media didn’’t agree.  Further, this information is crucial to those counseling in women help centers and who face this issue when talking to youth.

On June 12-13, 2000, the Food and Drug Administration, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health and US Agency for International Development co-sponsored a gathering of representatives of the sponsoring agencies and other outside experts to answer this question.  “What is the scientific evidence on the effectiveness of latex male condom-use to prevent STD transmission during vaginal intercourse?”

The National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases then released a summary report on July 20, 2001 to announce their finding.  Keep in mind that these aren’’t conservative groups loathed by the liberal media elite, but governmental agencies charged with overseeing the health of Americans.

This report states that an astounding 65 million-plus people are living with an STD.  That means one in five adults in the US are infected.  You may also be alarmed to learn that most STDs are incurable viral infections.  It is estimated that an additional 15 million people are infected with STDs every year.  Most STDs are asymptomatic; in other words, they are silent diseases with no or very mild symptoms.  Therefore many people don’t know they are infectious and pass them on to other sexual partners.  The report also said that many of the STDs promote HIV transmission, increasing the risk between 2 and 5 fold.

The group examined 138 peer-reviewed studies that were subject to independent scientific evaluation prior to their publication.  They studied data on eight STDs: HIV infection, gonorrhea, chlamydial infection, syphilis, chancroid, trichomoniasis, genital herpes, and genital HPV infection and associated diseases (i.e. cervical dysplasia, cervical cancer and genital warts).  I’’d like to very briefly familiarize you with some of these prevalent STDs.

One incurable STD is Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).  There are more than 100 variations of this disease which can also be spread by contact with infected area skin including the inner thighs.  It is believed that digital (finger) transmission may be possible.  You can see why a condom would have no impact on prevention.  HPV is believed to be responsible for 95% of all cervical cancer cases, which kill an estimated 6,000 women annually.  AIDS isn’t the only fatal STD.

  • Chlamydia is the most common bacterial infection with 3 million new cases each year.  It is usually asymptomatic and often results in pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which includes chronic pelvic pain, ectopic (tubal) pregnancy and infertility.
  • Gonorrhea cases increase by 650,000 every year and is the second major cause of PID.
  • Trichomoniasis, caused by a parasite, infects 5 million every year and is associated with an increased transmission of HIV/AIDS.
  • Genital Herpes infections increase by 500,000 annually.  In addition, there are 10 million recurrences each year.

Gee, I feel like my computer keyboard and I need a disinfecting shower!  Now, here are the alarming findings of this prestigious group of experts who studied the data.

The evidence shows that condoms, when used correctly, have a positive impact on the spread of HIV and gonorrhea.  However, that should provide small comfort to the sexually active when the rest of the findings are revealed.

The report concluded that published epidemiologic data does not show that the condom reduces the transmission of the other diseases.  Further it states that there is “no epidemiologic evidence that condom use reduced the risk of HPV infection”.

The politically correct crowd is sending the wrong message that condoms protect those engaged in multiple-partner sex.  We need to spread the truth so that others can make safe and healthy decisions.  A copy of this fifty-page report (the first two pages are the executive summary) is available by clicking here.

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