NEWS IN CONTEXT
FDA Proposes New Condom Labeling Guidelines
November 10, 2005
New Rules Could Decrease Condom Use, Put Lives at Risk
In response to political pressure from social conservatives, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed changes to the existing labels for male condoms to include irrelevant and extraneous information that will only confuse condom users and may even discourage them from using condoms altogether. The FDA, while rightly recommending the label say that condoms used correctly and consistently greatly reduce the risk of pregnancy and HIV, suggests confusing information about the role of condoms in preventing human papilloma virus and genital herpes, and inaccurate information on nonoxynol-9. The proposed rules will be published in the Federal Register on November 14th, which will begin a 90-day comment period during which the public can respond.
Nearly one in five contraceptive users in the United States rely on the male latex condom, which is 98% effective at preventing unwanted pregnancy when used correctly and consistently and is impermeable to even the smallest of sexually transmissible viruses. Yet, opponents are engaged in an active campaign to undermine public confidence in the effectiveness of condoms, putting people’s lives and health at risk.
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