D.C.'s wise decision to encourage safe sex
By Laura Meyers
Thank you to Courtland Milloy for clarifying the facts leading to the District’s decision to offer Trojan brand condoms at the request of District youth [“D.C.’s extra-large effort in promoting safe sex should be applauded,” Metro, May.26]. Also, thank you to D.C. Department of Health officials, as well as D.C. Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large), for their courage and pragmatism in addressing the District’s alarmingly high rates of HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and teen pregnancy.
Chris Krisinger’s comments about “nutty social, public policy” [letters, May 25] highlight the need to get the facts out and to make public health policies based on scientific evidence about what works. Mr. Krisinger argues for encouraging abstinence, which studies have demonstrated does not work. On the other hand, distributing condoms that sexually active youth will use is a wise investment because condom use does prevent the spread of STIs.
While some may snicker at teens expressing their preference for a particular brand of condom or deride teens for not remaining abstinent, I agree with Mr. Milloy that we should support their intent to use condoms when sexually active. If offering a preferred brand of condoms leads to fewer STIs and unintended pregnancies, the decision to do so would rightly be hailed as a successful prevention strategy as well as a smart use of taxpayer dollars.
The writer is chief executive of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington.
| May 27, 2010; 8:51 PM ET
Categories: D.C., HotTopic, public health
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