"In the fight against AIDS, condoms save lives. If you oppose the distribution of condoms, something is more important to you than saving lives"
- Melinda Gates
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that condoms are highly effective in preventing the transmission of HIV and are effective in preventing pregnancy and other sexually transmitted infections. Yet social conservatives continue to wage war on condoms, limiting their availability and undermining the public’s confidence in condoms’ effectiveness. Conservatives have, too often, censored information on condoms, both on government web sites and in sex education curricula used in schools in South Carolina and elsewhere. In fact, conservatives have spent $1.5 billion on failed abstinence-only programs which discuss condoms only in terms of failure rates, often exaggerated and/or misunderstood. For example, experts assert that condoms, used consistently and correctly, have a 97 percent success rate in preventing pregnancy. This success rate is for 100 couples, using condoms as their method of contraception across an entire year. In other words, the three percent failure rate relates to some 10,000 (or more) acts of sexual intercourse. Yet in abstinence-only curricula, the failure rate is commonly and incorrectly related to each act of intercourse.
Condoms are an important tool in preventing unintended pregnancy and STIs, including HIV, among youth in South Carolina. Sex education in schools and communities must offer accurate information about condoms, including how to use them. Pharmacies and convenience stores must ensure that South Carolina’s youth can easily and quickly purchase condoms without having to ask for them. And, clinics can make condoms freely available to youth who need them. Click the links below to learn the facts on condoms, how to talk about condoms, and how to fight back against ideologically-driven attacks on condoms.
Learn more about why birth control and condoms are important for South Carolina teens