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U.S. News

New Mexico: Public Misled on Condoms?

September 20, 2010

On Thursday, health experts insisted that an Albuquerque Public School board member was wrong when he said condoms are ineffective against STDs and HIV. Board member David Robbins on Wednesday criticized condoms' efficacy during an APS board discussion about school-based health clinics.


"Every major medical and public health organization in the world supports condom use as the main protection against HIV" and other STDs, said Dr. Bruce Trigg, medical director of the state Department of Health's STD program. In New Mexico, 150 people are newly diagnosed with HIV each year, and health officials already have a hard time convincing people to use condoms, a frontline strategy in STD prevention, Trigg said.

"The public has been misled to believe by too many public health officials that condoms equal safe sex," Robbins said. "They do not." Robbins referenced condom studies posted on an abstinence education advocacy website, though he did not cite any specific study.

"Studies have demonstrated that latex condoms provide an essentially impermeable barrier" to HIV and other STDs, states CDC's website. "Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, are highly effective in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV."

Condoms are not foolproof. Condom failure, however, is typically the result of misuse and inconsistent use, said Dr. Eve Espey, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of New Mexico. "The biggest issue is just not putting it on altogether," she said.

Back to other news for September 2010

Adapted from:
Albuquerque Journal
09.17.2010; Olivier Uyttebrouck

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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
More HIV Prevention Policy News on Southwest U.S. States

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