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Is the HPV playbook, played out?

Rachel Hart,
Reproductive Freedom Project
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July 5, 2006

Slate posted an article on Monday about a new study that says consistent condom use can help protect against HPV. The article notes that the purported failure of condoms to offer any protection against HPV has been a rallying point for the ab-only movement and goes into the methodology of the study in greater depth than past articles:

The methodology of Winer’s study is as important as its results. Unlike some of the older research, this work was designed specifically to determine whether condom use offers protection against HPV. The 82 women Winer followed had never been sexually active or had become active for the first time just before the study began. This meant virtually none of them were infected with HPV at the outset. The women recorded information about their sexual activity and condom use every two weeks-an interval short enough to ensure good recall. And they did so in anonymous computer diaries, a format shown to be more reliable than face-to-face interviews. No previous work on HPV and condoms tracked subjects so closely and took advantage of computer diaries, Winer says. Finally, the women received pelvic exams and DNA-based HPV tests every four months.

According to the article even critics are having a hard time faulting the methodology; however, the article goes on to say that the other side has yet to back down.

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