Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Epidemic of STI's in Canada and the Failure of Condoms

Showing once again that pushing condoms doesn't work:

Despite the unequivocal reports from Health Canada on the rising prevalence of STIs, there appears to be a determined blindness towards the issue among the media and those responsible for sexual health education. Very little, if any, media coverage has been devoted to raising the alarm on STI rates. A recent report carried by the Globe and Mail February 17 highlighted the surge in STIs among the Canadian military, an increase of 71% in Chlamydia alone over the past 6 years, but drew no parallels to the situation in the general population.

It is apparent that “safer sex” education for young people is not working. Health Canada continues to rely on condom promotion to counter disease rates, despite the limited protection even careful condom use provides against STIs. A 2004 study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology identified two factors in the failure of condom promotion to halt the rise of STI rates: Condoms fail to protect against oral or external-genital transmission, and condom effectiveness depends on careful, constant use.

“Extensive research demonstrates that average people, particularly youth, do not use condoms consistently in the longterm, regardless of knowledge or education,” the study points out. Even among adult couples with HIV infection in one partner, who were counseled on proper condom use, only 43.3% used condoms consistently.

Society’s popular message that sexual freedom and experimentation are the rights of youth to enjoy has utterly failed to convey the seriousness of sexual responsibility and the profound effect of sexual consequences on the lives of young people, with disastrous effect.