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Planned Parenthood Urges Condom Use to Prevent Cervical Cancer

New York, NY — In response to a new study published today by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Planned Parenthood Federation of America renewed its recommendation for sexually active individuals to use condoms to prevent sexually transmitted infections, including human papilloma virus (HPV), the leading cause of cervical cancer. The NEJM study found that consistent condom usage significantly reduces the risk of HPV transmission.

"For sexually active individuals, condoms are the best protection against sexually transmitted infections. This important study confirms that condoms can protect against transmission of HPV, which means condoms continue to be an important option in cervical cancer protection," said Vanessa Cullins, PPFA vice president for medical affairs. "At Planned Parenthood our goal is to keep our patients safe, healthy, and cancer-free — and that includes educating them about correct and consistent condom use if they choose to be sexually active."

The new NEJM study on condom usage and HPV transmission supports previous scientific studies that have shown that condoms significantly reduce the risk of transmission of HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia and the herpes simplex virus as well. The study found that women whose partners used condoms during all instances of sexual intercourse were 70 percent less likely to become infected with HPV than those who used condoms only five percent of the time.

"Condoms are an inexpensive and effective birth control method that every man and woman should have in their medicine cabinets," added Cullins. "This study proves that claims by condom-use opponents suggesting that condom use leads to increased numbers of HPV infections are false and alarmist."

In early June, the FDA approved the first vaccine against two types of human papilloma virus (HPV) that cause about 70 percent of cervical cancer cases. Worldwide, cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women. Each year approximately 10,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed in the United States, and 4,000 American women die from the disease.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Erin Kiernon, 202-973-4975
Gustavo Suarez, 212-261-4339


May 11, 2014