Commentary & Opinion
Sen. Coburn's Push to Require Condom Warning Labels "Irresponsible" in Fight Against HIV/AIDS, Editorial Says
July 13, 2005
It is "irresponsible" for Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Christian conservatives to attempt to "undermine confidence in condoms by questioning their effectiveness" in fighting sexually transmitted diseases when there is "overwhelming evidence" that condoms significantly lower the risk of HIV transmission, a Contra Costa Times editorial says. Coburn is urging FDA to put "cigarette-style warnings" on condom packages stating that they only protect against some STDs, the editorial says (Contra Costa Times, 7/12). Coburn has placed a hold on acting FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford's nomination to head the agency, saying the hold will remain in place until FDA issues the congressionally mandated condom labeling that clarifies the limitations of condoms' effectiveness in preventing pregnancy and STDs (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/30). Condoms might not protect against all STDs, but they do reduce the risk of HIV infection -- "the most deadly" STD -- and their use "has saved, and continues to save, lives," the Times says. Although promoting sexual abstinence outside of a committed relationship is commendable, "it is unacceptable for elected officials to impose their own moral agenda at the risk of public health," the editorial says, adding, "It is even more unconscionable when that official is a physician using his medical credentials to give his ideological crusade a veneer of responsibility" (Contra Costa Times, 7/12).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.