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The Condom Conundrum

April 03, 1987

Regarding "Teens Hear Some Plain Talk About AIDS" by Beverly Beyette, March 29: Condoms are neither a panacea nor a passport for safe sex. Data shows that the failure rate of regular condom usage as a contraceptive measure yields a certain percentage of pregnancy, and this when the probability is already naturally diminished because the woman is fertile for only a limited period of time. How much greater the percentage of exposure to AIDS when the virus is not so choosy?

Surgeon Gen. Koop is adamant about the dangers of cigarettes and how we should strongly discourage adolescents from starting smoking, but when it comes to sex that prudent path is forsaken. As with the deadly practice of drug abuse, when it comes to promiscuous sex the message conveyed should be, "Just say no !"

JOHN PAUL ARNERICH

Los Angeles

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