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Sex Education Depends on Specifics

February 25, 1990

Dr. Neil Solomon's column on Jan. 26 was a demonstration of how physician unresponsiveness contributes to the spread of the AIDS virus and other sexually transmitted diseases (and pregnancies).

A writer asked Dr. Solomon for specifics on safe sex for a 14-year-old. Instead of giving the information that was requested, he replied that abstinence was appropriate and "a 14-year-old should not have to struggle with the erroneous assumption that it's normal to have sex."

No information was given about condoms and spermicides. No referral was given to a local AIDS agency. He merely added that adolescents "should know the facts about sex, contraceptives, sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy." The writer had complained about prior vague comments and requested specific advice. None was given.

Instead, Dr. Solomon ignored the fact that some 14-year-olds do have sex. Further, he confirmed that many physicians demonstrate no responsibility to provide specific information on low risk sex for those who do decide to become sexually active.

No wonder our teen-agers remain at high risk.

DR. NEIL SCHRAM, AIDS Committee, Los Angeles County Medical Assn.

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