May the warts be with you

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I get Steve Fair's "Fair and Biased" updates via e-mail (subscribe at okgop -at-, and the current update contains the following item from Roll Call magazine about Oklahoma's junior senator:

You won't want to miss the next big blockbuster thriller, "Revenge of the STDs," coming soon to a theater near you.

A takeoff on "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith," the STD flick -- yes, it's about sexually transmitted diseases -- is a tradition sponsored by Oklahoma GOP Sen. Tom Coburn. (He held six annual safe-sex slide shows during his three terms in the House.)

Coburn has been sending around a "Star Wars"-themed flier touting this year's slide show with a picture of Yoda declaring, "Stop the STDs, we must," and Darth Vader warning, "Never underestimate the power of the STDs."

The spacey flier opens much the same way "Star Wars" does: "Not so long ago, there were only two known sexually transmitted diseases. Today there are more than 25 STDs which infect more than 19 million Americans each year. ..."

Coburn notes that many people are not aware that the human papillomavirus infects 5.5 million Americans each year. "Studies have shown that condoms do not provide effective protection against HPV infection," Coburn states, adding in a "Dear Colleague" letter that as a physician he personally has witnessed the "ravaging effects" of STDs. "In many cases, STDs lurk undetected in the body for months or years before unleashing their terrible effects," he writes.

Coburn is inviting all Members of Congress, staff and interns to attend the slide show on May 26 (one week after the opening of the final installment of the "Star Wars" saga) at 11:45 a.m. in HC-5 of the Capitol. "A free pizza lunch will be served but attendees should be advised that some slides contain graphic images."

Sen. Coburn has been under fire from the Senate Ethics Committee for wanting to continue practicing as an OB/GYN, as he did during his years in the U. S. House. If you can look beyond the Star Wars gimmickry, this presentation illustrates one of the benefits of having legislators who are still connected with a profession. Coburn can speak on this public health threat from experience; other senators are getting information from lobbyists from Planned Parenthood or SIECUS or other pressure groups. Coburn is able to challenge the conventional wisdom about condoms, and to call his colleagues' attention to the fact that condoms can't protect against HPV, which causes cervical cancer, a fact that deserves consideration as Congress debates funding for abstinence-based sex education.

I hope Coburn gets a good turnout, but I wonder about the wisdom of choosing pizza for the entree.

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» But I just want the pizza from Dan and Angi have something to say

UPDATEI am bringing this back to the top because this topic has finally come up in Congress. We are so ahead of the curve.

Found on the stairway wall near my office.

"STD" means "Sigma Tau Delta," t... Read More

Republicans don't favor comprehensive sex ed for high school students, but apparently it's a-OK by the time you're a Capitol Hill staffer. That must be why Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma sponsored a "Star Wars"-themed STD slide show yesterday for... Read More


W. said:

I don't think Coburn is giving all the facts about HPV and condoms.

From the Centers for Disease Control Web site:

"While the effect of condoms in preventing HPV infection is unknown, condom use has been associated with a lower rate of cervical cancer, an HPV-associated disease."

So it sounds like the jury is still out.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 16, 2005 11:41 AM.

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