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Report: Condoms Do Prevent Some STDs

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Coburn argues that the government has been promoting "an unsubstantiated claim that promiscuity can be safe. ... This report," he says, "finally exposes the 'safe' sex myth for the lie that it is."

Abstinence until marriage and a mutually monogamous relationship are the only ways to prevent the spread of STDs, says Coburn, who is on the board of the pro-abstinence group Family Research Council. The Family Research Council agrees with Coburn, spokeswoman Heather Cirmo tells WebMD.

Panel member Shacker says, "I would have to say that [Coburn] didn't understand the report."

The Bush administration did not return phone calls from WebMD, but the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the CDC appear unlikely to make any radical policy changes as a result of the report.

The CDC will continue to advise that the "surest protection from STDs is sexual abstinence and mutually monogamous relations." But it adds that for those who are sexually active "condoms, when used correctly and consistently, are highly effective in protecting against HIV and can reduce the risk of other sexually transmitted diseases."

"A lot of what's in this report, you sort of know already," a source at HHS tells WebMD. "I don't think it surprises anyone or changes anything."

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