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APLA defends role of condoms in STD prevention

APLA defends role of condoms in STD prevention

To mark National Condom Week, held February 14-21, AIDS Project Los Angeles is urging all lawmakers across the country to oppose efforts by some right-wing and religious groups to characterize condoms as being unable to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. In recent months social conservatives have downplayed condom effectiveness while advocating for increases in government funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, say APLA officials. These programs assert that abstinence is the only guaranteed protection against STDs, including HIV, and cite a recent federal study showing that condom use isn't 100% effective in preventing human papillomavirus, which causes almost all cases of cervical cancer. "Discouraging condom use does nothing to reduce the prevalence of HPV," said Craig Thompson, APLA's executive director. "What it will do is increase public misunderstanding regarding condoms, which then puts people at risk for life-threatening STDs such as HIV. For sexually active individuals, condoms are the only practical and effective means of protection against STDs. Let us be very clear--when used correctly and consistently, condoms work."

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