Proposed Condom Packaging Warnings Pose ‘Powerful Threat to Nation’s Health,’ Opinion Piece Says
The "correct and consistent use of condoms can protect against HIV," and the Bush administration's proposed policy of placing warning labels on condom packaging "flies in the face of science and ... poses a powerful threat to the nation's health," Dr. Mervyn Silverman, co-chair of the American Foundation for AIDS Research 16th National HIV/AIDS Update Conference, writes in a South Florida Sun-Sentinel opinion piece. The Bush administration's logic that warning labels are needed because condoms are not 100% effective in preventing all sexually transmitted diseases is "absurd" and would by extension require the placement of warning labels on Band-Aids because they are not 100% effective at preventing wound infection, Silverman says. In addition, "no convincing evidence" exists to support abstinence-only prevention methods, Silverman says, adding that the administration's proposed doubling of abstinence-only funding "makes a mockery of public health research." The administration's "habit of basing policy on ideology, not on research, is extremely poor public health practice," Silverman says, concluding, "We know what works: comprehensive education, which presents facts concerning sex and the transmission of diseases, encourages delayed onset of sexual activity and provides unambiguous information about condoms" (Silverman, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 3/29).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.