Condoms May not be safe Enough

by Medindia Content Team on  June 30, 2005 at 6:50 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Condoms May not be safe Enough
Condoms have been used for prevention of pregnancy for decades and more recently for prevention of AIDS. However a recent study indicates that wearing a condom during intercourse may not give good enough protection against other sexually transmitted diseases, such as herpes and syphilis.

There has been a rise recently in STD's among the young people (15 to 24 yrs) and the news may come as a surprise to many. Current surveys indicate that approx. 12 million Americans each year contract a STD and of these 3 million of them teens or young adults.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that condom boxes have a mandatory warning stating: "If used properly, latex condoms will help to reduce the risk of transmission of HIV infection (AIDS) and many other sexually transmitted diseases." Heather Boonstra, an official with the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit group that researches reproductive health issues said "Condoms do not provide 100% protection, but for people who are sexually active, they are the best and the only method we have for preventing these diseases,"

Currently there is enough research from reputable organizations to indicate that condoms do not provide full protection against STDs. More worrying is the aspect that youngster today do not practice proper condom use and these studies may further result in their dumping the use of condoms. This growing confusion is likely to be a matter of debate in the coming months and new guidelines may need to be formulated. Condoms should be projected about for preventing disease. James Trussell, director of Princeton University's Office of Population Research said 'there is absolutely incontrovertible evidence" that condoms reduce transmission of the most serious sexually transmitted disease, AIDS. To my mind, everything else is gravy," He further added, "All of this is ideologically motivated. What they're really concerned about are people who are not married having sex."

The health professionals have always known this issue. In 2001 National Institute of Health expert panel reported in 2001 that for AIDS and gonorrhea the condoms cut transmission by 50% to 100% but for other STDs the results are less clear. Dr. Tom Fitch, chairman of the Medical Institute for Sexual Health, feels that some STDs are more easily passed on than others. And STDs such as herpes and human papilloma virus, or HPV, can be transmitted by contact with skin not covered by a condom. HIV infection by about 80%, to less than a 1% chance of infection per year. The National Institutes of Health says condoms are impermeable to the smallest viruses.

The only way to prevent STD's is abstinence or monogamy. However it is advised to use latex condoms early enough as the risk of transmission probably reduces by this practice significantly.,

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