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Condoms and the Prevention of AIDS-Reply

Marcus A. Conant, MD
JAMA. 1986;256(11):1442-1443. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380110048013.
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In Reply.—  I agree fully with Drs Henry and Crossley that sexually active adults and teenagers do not know how to use condoms properly. Unfortunately, major newspapers and networks will not accept condom advertisements; an open discussion of condom use is considered "bad taste." George Schweitzer, the vice president of communications for the CBS broadcasting group, has recently stated, "Contraceptive ads would be an intrusion on the moral and religious beliefs of many members of our audience" (New York Times, Jan 5,1986, p F-10).A 1985 study by McKusick and Coates clearly demonstrated that gay men are no better motivated to use condoms than is the general population. Eighty percent knew that the use of a condom would prevent AIDS transmission; however, only 6% of the same sample actually used condoms.1We have an effective way of substantially reducing the transmission of the AIDS retrovirus. Our failure to educate


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