Accuracy needed

Accuracy needed

Tony Sheehan

I wish to express my concerns about Dr Jago's letter in the September AD2000. I have long enjoyed and admired Dr Jago's letters in several forums, but I am quite alarmed at this one.

A very quick check of his reference to "Scientific Evidence on Condom Effectiveness for STD Protection" showed that the report in question concluded almost the opposite to the claims made by Dr Jago - namely, that the evidence was either inconclusive either way, or in the case of HPV, that condoms were likely to be quite effective.

What the report did conclude should have been quite enough for Dr Jago to make a point. Condom use is not 100 percent effective in stopping anything, not pregnancy (their original use!) nor HIV/AIDS (only 85 percent) or STDs, so "safer sex" is the best claim that could honestly be made.

Careless misuse of this type of information harms us all - how many readers will have quoted Dr Jago in arguments, claiming they "read it in AD2000", and are then made to look like fools by 30 seconds of Googling? I recognise that the opinions expressed in letters need not reflect editorial positions, but I believe that does not abrogate your responsibility to careful and accurate journalism.

Having said that, thank you for an otherwise excellent magazine.

TONY SHEEHAN
Cairns, Qld

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