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Best studies showing the effectivness of condoms?

Apr 28, 2009

I am currently a student at a catholic high school that must endure the chastity program. Most of what they teach in Religion is decently good (don't kill, don't steal, etc.) and the unrealistic bible stories are easy to ignore, but the chastity education program is getting ridiculous. They are downright lying to us. From telling us that there are tiny holes in condoms that allow HIV to pass through to telling us that abortion causes breast cancer, it is getting insane. Not only that but then they go on to tell us that 50% of people wait until marriage to have sex and that homosexuals are horrible people. I take great offense to this statement. One of my best friends since I was a little kid is gay and he is in a happy relationship. And these are the people whose 8th commandment tells them not to lie... I was wondering if you could point me in the direction of some recent, large studies that disprove the lies mentioned above? I would like to bring them to the attention of my teacher and see what her responses are. After all, she used to be a science teacher, she has to know that these things are lies. I worry about the other people in my class and whether or not they will go off to college next year condemning homosexuals and thinking condoms have tiny holes in them. Thank you so much for all of the great information found on this website.


Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Bethany,

Your Catholic high school is teaching you that condoms have tiny holes that allow HIV to pass through and that abortion causes breast cancer??? In addition they teach that 50% of people wait until marriage to have sex and that homosexuals are horrible people??? Hmmmmm.... And to think I actually attended Catholic school until 3rd grade! My school burned down that year and no, I wasn't responsible for torching the place (no matter what Sister Missionary Position might say.)

You are correct: These are blatant indefensible and morally reprehensible lies. It's unconscionable they continue to spew out false information that can have disastrous consequences. Lying about condoms doesn't lead to more rosy-cheeked virgins on their wedding night, but rather to more kids not knowing how to protect themselves while having sex and consequently getting pregnant or contracting STDs (including HIV). All of this in the name of God?? Shocking! I agree: The higher powers do not condone lies and perhaps there is even a special place in hell for those who deliberately spread this potentially harmful information to students.

Bethany, I would encourage you to talk to as many of your friends as possible and also to any enlightened parents as well and ask for their support in formally bringing a complaint to the head of the high school. I'd also suggest you write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to expose the misinformation you are being taught in school. It's time to "name and shame" these programs to prevent them from doing any further harm.

As for studies that conclusively prove that latex condoms are impermeable to HIV, there are many. I'll post several below. You can also contact the CDC and Planned Parenthood for additional information. They have pamphlets they can send.

Please also encourage your friends to utilize this and other science-based Web sites to get unbiased information about safer sex and HIV prevention.

Good luck Bethany! Your efforts just may save someone's life. God, I'm sure, would approve of that and your efforts to spread truth over religious-biased myth, fantasy, and lies.

Dr. Bob

Several laboratory experiments were conducted to test the ability of latex condoms to provide an effective physical barrier against HIV. Condoms were tested by placing a solution containing HIV inside the condoms, and culture medium (free of HIV) outside the condoms. No leakage of HIV across latex condoms was demonstrable.(1-4)

1. Conant M, Hardy D, Sernatinger J, Spicer D, Levy JA. Condoms prevent transmission of AIDS-associated retrovirus. JAMA. 1986;255(13):1706.

2. Van de Perre P, Jacobs D, Sprecher-Goldberger S. The latex condom, an efficient barrier against sexual transmission of AIDS-related viruses. AIDS. 1987;1(1):49-52.

3. Rietmeijer CA, Krebs JW, Feorino PM, Judson FN. Condoms as physical and chemical barriers against human immunodeficiency virus. JAMA. 1988;259(12):1851-1853.

4. Judson FN, Ehret JM, Bodin GF, Levin MJ, Rietmeijer CA. In vitro evaluations of condoms with and without nonoxynol 9 as physical and chemical barriers against Chlamydia trachomatis, herpes simplex virus type 2, and human immunodeficiency virus. Sex Transm Dis. 1989;16(2):51-56

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