Won’t Condoms Keep Teens Safe?
Abstinence education is a logical approach to the problem of teen pregnancy and STDs. This is becoming even more apparent as condom ineffectiveness against viral disease is becoming a scientific fact. Though condoms have been shown to decrease the transmission of aids, the same cannot be said for herpes and HPV. Once again, this is logical. Herpes and HPV are skin-based diseases. They do not need the exchange of body fluid to occur in order to be contracted. The viruses can be present throughout the whole genital region. This is simply a scientific fact. The condom only covers a portion of the genital region of one partner. It is logical to assume that parts of the genital region will come into contact that are not covered by a condom. Therefore it is safe to conclude that condoms do not offer protection against the transmission of Herpes and HPV. Let’s follow this logical statement in simpler fashion: The viruses that cause herpes and HPV can be present throughout the whole genital region, condoms do not cover the whole genital reason, therefore condoms do not protect against Herpes or HPV. Logic.
Peer Reviewed Studies that support Abstinence Educations position on condom ineffectiveness
Following are just a few of the studies that show how ineffective condoms are against herpes and HPV. These studies are from credible national organizations and are not funded or connected to the abstinence movement in any way. The mainstream media have chosen not to cover these very important findings. Why, whenever I conduct an interview I include this information and often hand over copies of the CDC and NIH study to the interviewer. Most often they edit the below facts from the interview that airs or goes to print. Why? Think about it.
What Is Cumulative Effectiveness?
Cumulative effectiveness refers to the likelihood of becoming infected with an STD over time. It looks at the relationship between risk and the time exposed to that risk. In the case of condoms and cumulative effectiveness the question would then be to what extent are condoms effective at reducing cumulative risk (preventing disease transmission over a period of time)? Most of the studies I refer to in my show and that follow regard cumulative risk. All these studies show double digit disease acquisition rates. Or stated differently, high failure rates.
What is interesting to note, is that condom manufactures and comprehensive sex advocates never quote failure rates in relation to cumulative risk reduction. For example they may quote something like a two percent slippage and breakage rate. That’s great, but then one reads the details of the study and discovers this refers to one sexual act one time. Does anyone see a problem with this? All the studies that quote single digit failure rates do not take into account cumulative risk. So is the condom/comprehensive sex crowd lying? They are not lying, they just aren’t sharing the fact you can only have one sex act one time wearing the condom properly in order to benefit from the very low failure rate they promote.
The “1.5 failure rate” myth is very powerful. Let us break down the effect of cumulative risk for one (the paragraphs are me, I couldn’t help myself) study: The risk of females acquiring gonorrhea from infected males is believed to be 50 percent from one act of sex without using a condom. For their study the authors used a 3 percent (what the condom advocates promote and testify to frequently) slippage and breakage rate. Allowing for only 3 percent failure rate 1.5 percent of women would be expected to acquire gonorrhea after on act of sex with an infected partner. (Great, let's have a party, run an add, do some cool promotions during spring break and help keep kids “safe”. But wait.) After 10 acts of sex one would expect 14 percent of women to become infected and after 30 acts of sex with an infected partner, the expected risk would escalate to 37 percent even with perfect condom use. (Is it any wonder that 20% of Americans over 12 have an incurable virus?)
Mann JR, Stine CC, Vessey J. The role of disease-specific infectivity and number of exposures on the long-term effectiveness of the latex condom. Sex Transm Dis. 2002;29:344-349
We needed to take some time to understand the role of cumulative effectiveness before moving on. If you don’t understand the roll of risk reduction over time then you will simply dismiss the following studies as exaggerated. Most of America has been indoctrinated into the “1.5-3%” failure rate manipulation. I can’t call it a lie. You can enjoy the single digit failure rates promoted by the condom companies and the comprehensive sex ed crowd. Just have one sex act one time.
For those of you that may be interested in how condoms performed in the real world, with real people, let's look at some more peer reviewed studies. The study findings are in regular font and the sources are in italics:
If you always use condoms for vaginal sex, you will only reduce your chance of getting herpes by about half. To date, there is no evidence that condoms reduce your chance of getting herpes during oral or anal sex.
Shlay, JC, McClung MW, Patnaik JL, Douglas JM Jr. Comparison of sexually transmitted disease prevalence by reported level of condom use among patients attending and urban sexually transmitted disease clinic. Sex Transm Dis. 2004; 31(3):154-160
Wald A. Langenberg AG, Krantz E, et al. The relationship between condom use and herpes simplex virus acquisition: Ann Intern Med. 2005;143(10):707-713
Women whose partners used condoms all the time were 70% less likely to acquire a new HPV infection during an eight month period. (From Keith; this is worded favorably, think about it. It means only a 70% risk reduction. And the difference between 70% and 100% is…What if this study had been carried out to a full year?)
New England Journal of Medicine, June 22, 2006 Vol. 354:2645-2654
Follow the below link to the actual study.
While latex condoms do reduce the transmission of HIV/AIDs, there is not enough evidence to determine that they were effective in reducing the risk of most other sexually transmitted diseases.
National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious diseases, National Institutes of health, Department of Health and Human Services. Workshop Summary: Scientific Evidence On Condom Effectiveness for Transmitted Disease Prevention, July 20, 2001
Condoms have no impact on the risk of sexual transmission of Human papilloma virus in women and there is no clear evidence that condoms reduce HPV transmission in men.
“Federal Panel on condoms Offers Crucial Warnings to sexually Active Americans, Says The Medical Institute for Sexual Health.” NIH condom report, July 19th, 2001
Only the women’s risk of getting herpes is slightly reduced. Using condoms didn’t help men reduce their risk of getting the disease at all.
Wald, A.G.M. Langenberg, K. Link, et al., “Effect of condoms on Reducing the Transmission of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 from Men to Women.” Journal of the American Medical Association 285 (2001): 3100-3106
A review of scientific research shows that condom use offers relatively little protection (from “zero” to “some”) for herpes and no protection from HPV. On average, condoms failed to prevent the transmission of the HIV virus between 15 percent and 31 percent of the time. While condom use has increased over the past 25 years, the spread of STDs has likewise continued to rise.
Dr. Susan Weller, “Meta-Analysis of Condom Effectiveness in Reducing Sexually Transmitted HIV” Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 36 12 (1993). See also National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, “Summary,” Scientific Evidence on Condom Effectiveness for Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Prevention, July 20, 2001
Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Tracking the Hidden Epidemics 2000: Trends in STDs in the United States, 2000, at
Yes, some of the above studies are contradictory, but they all show long term disease acquisition rates in double digits.
Given the above scientifically supported information, it would be logical to promote abstinence as the only successful way to avoid sexually transmitted disease as well as the only way to avoid viral (skin based) disease. Abstinence is not an ideological response to a problem, it is a logical response.