Condoms and AIDS
Robert Doane (“Letters,”
April/03) asserts that “dependence on the condom may be
a principal factor in the spread of AIDS.” Condoms are
a principal factor in the reduction of the spread of AIDS. According
to the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/reproductive-health/rtis/male_condom.html)
the latest research has shown two things to be in evidence.
First, the consistent use of male latex condoms significantly
reduces the risk of HIV infection in men and women.... Second,
laboratory studies have established the impermeability of male
latex condoms to infectious agents contained in genital secretions,
including the smallest viruses.
Mr. Doane’s facts about the size
of voids in condoms may or may not be correct but his assertions
about the effects of these “voids” seems to be completely
refuted by the WHO. His assertion concerning dependence on the
condom is also incorrect since HIV is also spread in ways besides
sexual contact, for instance with IV drug use and the reuse
of needles in health clinics (a major problem in third-world
countries where clinics cannot afford to throw needles away
after each use). HIV must be combated on all fronts; prevention,
treatment, and research into a cure.