In an attempt to raise awareness of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), an insidious disease that threatens to become a major public health epidemic, IWF participated in a press conference in September hosted by the Family Research Council (FRC).

According to a white paper released by the FRC at the press conference, there are at least 24 million Americans infected with the Human Papilloma Virus, an incurable sexually transmitted disease (STD) linked to over 90% of all invasive cervical cancers, the number two cause of cancer deaths among women. HPV is an elusive disease that can lie dormant for as long as 20 years before it is detected.

HPV differs from other STDs in that condoms offer virtually no protection against infection. According to John V. Dervin, M.D., associate specialist in radiology and assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco, “Human Papilloma Virus, thought of as the ‘seed’ of cervical cancer, is a regional rather than localized disease, and its infectivity is not contained by condoms.”

Amy Holmes, IWF’s college guild project manager, spoke about her experience on our nation’s campuses: “At IWF, I work with college women to produce and distribute accurate information on undergraduate women’s issues, including sexual health.? Young women need to know the truth about HPV, the awful danger it poses…that there is no such thing as ‘safe sex.’ That is why we’re here today.”

The press conference also featured the towering presence of six- foot, nine-inch tall A.C. Green, a forward for the Dallas Mavericks who travels the country warning of the risks of sexual promiscuity and the problems associated with HPV. “The costs of this epidemic are staggering, in both human suffering, loss of life, and expense to society. Unless we come to terms with the problem of widespread promiscuity and take effective action to stem the tide, we will see ever increasing numbers of our youth suffer the ravages of disease.”

Rep. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who spoke at the press conference, vowed to take congressional action. He advocates that the Centers for Disease Control be required to report on HPV transmission rates and that condom manufacturers be required to warn consumers of their product’s ineffectiveness in stopping the spread of HPV.