CDC Recommends Abstinence as Primary HPV Prevention Strategy

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent a report to Congress last week recommending that abstinence or monogamy should be used as the primary prevention strategy for human papillomavirus (HPV), angering women’s rights and health advocates.

According to Kaiser, the report did not recommend using condoms as a primary prevention strategy for HPV. According to the Feminist Majority Foundation’s medical director, Dr. Beth Jordan, “this administration’s ideological spin promoting abstinence flies in the face of reality. People in this country – even young people – are sexually active. We must empower them with comprehensive sex education so that they can make smart and responsible choices for themselves.”

Meanwhile, President Bush’s recent budget request asks for a doubling in abstinence-education funds – most of which would go to new community based abstinence education program that will be run by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, reports the Washington Times. While Bush wants to increase budget expenditures in these programs up to $140 million this year, these programs have never been proven effective. The concern raised by women’s health advocates is that by not stressing condom usage, young people will be at greater risk for other sexually transmitted infections.

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Kaiser 2/3/04; Washington Times 2/3/04

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