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Condoms and HPV transmission

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Women whose partners consistently use condoms have a significantly reduced risk of contracting Human Papillomavirus, a trial published in The New England Journal of Medicine June 22 finds. The study tracked 82 female university students who reported their first intercourse with a male partner either during the study period or within two weeks after enrollment. Samples of cervical and vulvovaginal samples were collected periodically, and the women kept electronic diaries recording information about their sexual behavior. Women whose partners used condoms for all instances of vaginal intercourse were 70% less likely to acquire a new infection than women whose partners used condoms less than five percent of the time, Rachel L. Winer, PhD, University of Washington, Seattle, et al., report. The research refutes other recent studies suggesting that male condom use does not reduce the risk of HPV infection in women. The authors note, however that "most data on condom use and HPV infection...are from cross-sectional studies and the prospective studies reported to date were not explicitly designed to evaluate condom use." A recent FDA proposal suggested warning statements about disease transmission on condom labeling 1("The Tan Sheet" Nov. 21, 2005, p. 13)...

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