§ Mr. Paul Marsden
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the reliability of condoms in preventing(a) the spread of sexual diseases and (b) pregnancy. 
§ Miss Melanie Johnson
A high quality, systematic review of the evidence relating to condom effectiveness has shown that consistent use of condoms is highly effective in preventing pregnancy and transmission of many sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, gonorrhoea and chlamydia1. Condoms, when used consistently and correctly are estimated to be up to 99 per cent. effective in preventing pregnancy and 80 per cent. effective in reducing HIV incidence2. As a result the promotion of condom usage is strongly encouraged as a risk reduction strategy through the Department of Health's sexual health promotion activities.1 (Weller S, Davis K Condom effectiveness in reducing heterosexual HIV transmission (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochane Library, Issue 2, 2003. Oxford: Update Software; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Workshop Summary: Scientific Evidence on Condom Effectiveness for Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Prevention. July 20, 2001 http://www.niaid. nih. gov/dmid/stds/condomreport.pdf.2 (Weller S., Davis K. Condom effectiveness in reducing heterosexual HIV transmission (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochane Library, Issue 2, 2003. Oxford: Update Software).