Condoms Highly Effective Against HPV, Study Shows

According to Wedel, as condom use became political, some groups and politicians distorted the message saying that condoms were not effective against STDs.

Having solid numbers also can help make a sexual health peer educator's job easier.

"College students always want proof. If they have numbers, they'll start to believe it more," said Stella Chang, a senior at the University of Maryland.

For many doctors, however, it won't change the message they give to their patients on condom use and HPV.

The message is still the same: Condoms can prevent HPV transmission -- but not all of the time. That's because HPV can reside in cells not covered by the condom.

Study results also will not likely change condom labeling. Currently the label states that condoms can reduce the risk of HIV and many other sexually transmitted diseases. In 2005 the FDA proposed that the labels include other STDs that condoms may protect against, including HPV.

David Mayer, president of Mayer Labs, the maker of the Kimono condom, felt that this might confuse the consumer and dilute the message.

Condom makers, however, recognize the role studies like these have in educating the public.

"We believe that individuals who choose to be sexually active need to be reminded that consistent and correct condom use protects against STDs," said Jim Daniels, vice president of Marketing of Trojan Brand Condoms. "We applaud this study."

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