In August 2008, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) increased the estimated number of HIV infections in the United States from 40,000 per year to 56,300 per year. These new figures represent an alarming trend that the next President of the United States must address. In response, One® Condoms has delivered 56,300 condoms (one for every person who will be infected with HIV this year) to the campaign headquarters of Senators Barack Obama and John McCain. The message is simple - demonstrate your support for comprehensive health education for all Americans, including the use of condoms.
What do the candidates need to do with the condoms?
The candidates are encouraged to donate the condoms to non-profit organizations, community centers or clinics in the United States. We hope that their actions will demonstrate their future commitment to comprehensive education and condom distribution programs, should they be elected President.
What does "comprehensive education" mean?
Comprehensive education means that health education programs will teach all of the ways that individuals can protect themselves from sexually-transmitted diseases, including the use of condoms.
What's wrong with abstinence education?
Nothing at all. Abstinence should be included in any conversation about safer sex practices, and would be included as part of comprehensive education. However, it's up to the individual whether they choose to be abstinent, and studies show that comprehensive education (including condom education) is essential toward preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. We believe that the best approach is to give people all of the tools they'll need in order to protect themselves at every stage of their life.
Doesn't teaching people about condoms tell them it's ok to have sex? Is that a message we want to give children?
Supporters of abstinence-only education often use this as a central argument against condom education programs. The reality is, research shows that teaching children about condoms has no impact on the start or frequency of sexual activity.
But aren't condoms ineffective against HIV?
Recently, some abstinence-only education programs have taught that condoms are not effective for the prevention of HIV. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC): "Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, are highly effective in preventing heterosexual sexual transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Research on the effectiveness of latex condoms in preventing heterosexual transmission is both comprehensive and conclusive."
I've seen statistics that are different from what the CDC is saying. Why are you referencing just the CDC statistics?
Because the increase in transmission rates was reported by the CDC, and because the CDC is the highest federal authority in the United States related to disease prevention, we're using CDC statistics
for our conversations with the candidates. There are dozens of reports from a wide variety of sources that may or may not agree with the CDC findings, however because the candidates are campaigning for President, the Federal figures have been used. We welcome people to share whatever data or additional information they may have related to the HIV/AIDS crisis. In fact, we support as much communication as possible. If you would like to share figures related to other reports, please click here.