Are Condoms Foolproof, or for Fools?

    While using a condom, you can still become pregnant. Condoms have an annual contraceptive failure rate of 18.4 percent for girls under age 18. (1) And among young, unmarried, minority women the annual failure rate is 36.3 percent; among unmarried Hispanic women it is as high as 44.5 percent.(2)

    (1)“Contraceptive Failure Rate in the U.S.: Estimates From the 1982 Natl. Survey of Family Growth,” M.D. Hayward and J. Yogi, Family Planning Perspectives, Sept/Oct. 1986, p. 204

    (2)“Contraceptive Failure Rate in the U.S.: Revised Estimates From the 1982 Natl. Survey of Family Growth,” E.F. Jones and J.D. Forrest, Family Planning Perspectives, May/June 1989, p. 103

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

    Condoms provide even less protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) than they do against pregnancy.
    That’s because a woman can get pregnant only at ovulation time (two to three days each month), but a sexually transmitted disease can pass from partner to partner at any time of the month.
    Venereal diseases frequently spread through “skin to skin” contact even when condoms are used. This can happen because the bacterial or viral germs that cause many serious STDs (such as human papilloma virus, chlamydia, herpes and syphilis) do not infect just one place on your body. They may infect anywhere in the male or female genital areas. So even if the virus or bacteria doesn’t get through the condom itself, you can still get a disease, because condoms don’t cover all areas necessary to prevent infection during sexual contact.

Health Experts Say. . .

    Many leading health experts warn that you should not depend on condoms for protection against AIDS and other STDs:

    “Simply put, condoms fail. And condoms fail at a rate unacceptable for me as a physician to endorse them as a strategy to be promoted as meaningful AIDS protection.”
– Dr. Robert Renfield, chief of retro-viral research, Walter Reed Army Institute

Source: “Condom ‘Cure’ Questioned by Top AIDS Researcher,” Russell Shaw,Our Sunday Visitor,1/23/94

“Saying that the use of condoms is ‘safe sex’ is in fact playing Russian roulette. A lot of people will die in this dangerous game.”
– Dr. Teresa Crenshaw, member of the U.S. Presidential AIDS Commission and past president of the American Association of Sex Educators

Source: “Condoms: Experts Fear False Sense of Security,” The New York Times, 8/18/87.

Are Condoms Really Safe?

Fact: Latex condoms have tiny intrinsic holes called “voids.” The AIDS virus is 50 times smaller than these tiny holes which  makes it easy for the virus to pass through them, (1) about as easy as a dime passing through a basketball hoop.

Conclusion: Telling somebody to put a mere balloon between their health and a deadly disease is irresponsible. It’s like telling someone it’s okay to drink and drive as long as they wear a seat belt.

(1) Dr. C. M. Roland, editor of Rubber Chemistry and Technology, letter to the editor, The Washington Times, 4/22/92, p. G-2

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