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Texas: Hurst-Euless-Bedford Eighth-Grade Curriculum to Correct Condom Effectiveness Rate

January 22, 2009

Hurst-Euless-Bedford officials have updated the district's eighth-grade science curriculum to reflect accurate condom efficacy rates.

The eighth-grade lesson plan in place since 2001 states: "Latex condoms are designed to prevent the exchange of body fluids that can contain HIV. However, 20 percent of latex condoms fail to prevent pregnancy, if used correctly." In the answer key to a test, the phrase "if used correctly" is in all capital letters. According to most experts and manufacturers, correctly used condoms are 97-98 percent effective at pregnancy prevention.

Officials could not say where the 80 percent figure came from but said all of the curriculum's facts and figures were sourced to written texts. "High school teachers attended training seminars in August 2006 and August 2007, so they've been using updated numbers," said Judy Ramos, a spokesperson for the district. "Our eighth-grade teachers didn't attend the seminars, so their information was not updated."

Ramos said a district review committee recently caught the inaccuracy, as well as several others. The district has been working on an addendum to cover all the problems, but it decided to include a short phrase now to correct the effectiveness rate.

The phrase states: "A latex condom has an 80-90 percent actual effectiveness rate because of improper use. The latex condom may have a higher effectiveness rate if used properly and consistently. The only way to have 100 percent effectiveness is to practice abstinence."

According to Ramos, a new curriculum could be approved by the school board in time for the 2009-10 school year.

Back to other news for January 2009

Adapted from:
Fort Worth Star Telegram
01.17.2009; Matt Frazier

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
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