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Story updated (Friday, September 17, 2010, 9:40 a.m.)
Public Misled on Condoms?


APS Board Member: Condoms Don't Stop STDs

By Hailey Heinz
Journal Staff Writer
          Albuquerque Public Schools board member David Robbins said in a Wednesday meeting that condoms do not stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases because there are pores in the latex that are larger than disease organisms.
        He also said if APS cannot control what happens in its school-based health clinics, namely whether birth control is available to students, that the district should not have such clinics at all.
    According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, "Even HIV, which is among the tiniest of STD (sexually transmitted disease) organisms, cannot pass through a latex condom."
        The issue arose after the board's policy committee met Monday to consider changing the wording of the APS policy on health clinics located at schools. Those clinics are run by UNM, in partnership with APS.
        Current policy states that "birth control devices and medication will not be dispensed at school sites." The proposed new wording would say that the devices "shall not be dispensed by Albuquerque Public Schools."
        District spokesmen said the change would not signal a change in practice. The health clinics are not governed by the district, and spokesman Rigo Chavez said the new wording was meant to affirm that "we really don't have jurisdiction over what they do in the doctor-patient relationship."
        Robbins said the change could open the door to future administrations or rogue doctors dispensing birth control on campus, as long as they are not APS personnel.
        The change has not yet been voted on, and it likely will be considered at the next policy committee meeting.
        "Folks, the AIDS virus can get through a condom very easily," Robbins said during the meeting Wednesday.
        According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, "Even HIV, which is among the tiniest of STD (sexually transmitted disease) organisms, cannot pass through a latex condom."
        Robbins said studies have contradicted this claim, and he said holes in latex are the reason balloons deflate over time.
        Robbins e-mailed pro-life activists before Wednesday's meeting, telling them the issue would be discussed and that they could speak during public forum. One man, John Garth, did so, saying "it is the responsibility of parents to decide what birth control information and options are made available to their children."
       



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