LIES THE WINGNUTS TOLD ME
First, the truth:
Condoms Found to Block a Virus Harmful to Women
The consistent use of condoms protects against human papillomavirus, a cause of warts and cervical and other female cancers, researchers are reporting today.
In the study, which independent experts said was the most conclusive to examine the role of condoms in preventing infection with the virus, women whose male partners used condoms every time they had sexual intercourse had less than half the rate of infection as did women whose partners used condoms less than 5 percent of the time.
..."The findings are definitive," said Dr. James R. Allen, president of the American Social Health Association, an organization in Research Triangle Park, N.C., dedicated to the prevention of sexually transmitted infections.
... no malignant or precancerous cervical lesions were detected in 32 patient years at risk among women reporting 100 percent condom use by their partners. That compared with 14 such lesions in 97 patient years at risk among women whose partners did not use condoms or who used them less consistently.
The study "provided a very clear answer" to the question of the protective benefits of condoms and papillomavirus infection, said Dr. Allen of the American Social Health Association....
And now, the lies:
HPV differs from other STDs in that condoms offer virtually no protection against infection. According to John V. Dervin, M.D., associate specialist in radiology and assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco, "Human Papilloma Virus, thought of as the 'seed' of cervical cancer, is a regional rather than localized disease, and its infectivity is not contained by condoms."
--Independent Women's Forum article, September 22, 1999
Led by then-Rep. Tom Coburn (R-OK), a physician and staunch proabstinence opponent of government-funded family planning programs, [social conservatives] were successful in attaching an amendment to the House version of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act mandating that condom packages carry a cigarette-type warning that condoms offer "little or no protection" against an extremely common STD, human papillomavirus (HPV), some strains of which cause cervical cancer. Although this directive was removed before the bill was enacted, Coburn and his allies were able to secure a requirement that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reexamine condom labels to determine whether they are medically accurate with respect to condoms' "effectiveness or lack of effectiveness" in STD prevention.
--Guttmacher Report, Alan Guttmacher Institute, March 2003
In its first public response to a 2000 law, the FDA is proposing a revised set of condom labeling requirements....
After five years of review, the agency is proposing adding the following messages on condom packages:
... * Condoms "cannot protect" against herpes and HPV, which can be transmitted by skin-to-skin contact outside covered areas. Still, "using condoms every time" will provide "some benefit." ...
--HHSWatch, November 2005
Condoms, whether used correctly and consistently or not, do not prevent the spread of HPV.
--Family Research Council article archived July 13, 2005
The reality is that HPV can exist outside the area covered by a condom, so condoms aren't 100% effective in preventing transmission. But clearly they lower the odds. A lot. And a lot of people wanted (and still want) you to think otherwise.