Mayor Criticized for Opposing Condom Distribution in SchoolsAP , Associated Press
Nov. 11, 1991 7:58 PM ET
BOSTON (AP) _ Mayor Raymond Flynn drew fire from AIDS activists Monday for suggesting that distributing condoms in Boston's public schools could increase the spread of AIDS.
''Are we encouraging sex and therefore allowing further spread of the AIDS virus?'' Flynn said in a television interview Sunday. ''That's something to be very concerned about, I think.''
Some public officials and AIDS activists say that studies show no link between the availability of condoms and higher sexual activity among teens. They say the use of condoms had been shown to protect against AIDS, and that condom distribution should be part of an AIDS prevention curriculum.
Even the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which Flynn heads, has urged condom availability for youth, said Larry Kessler, director of the AIDS Action Committee in Massachusetts and a member of the National Commission on AIDS.
''Mayor Flynn knows full well that this is not a moral or religious issue,'' Kessler said. ''We are not discussing birth control - we are talking about giving these kids the education and tools they need to prevent contracting a disease which is universally fatal.''
Flynn's chief policy adviser, Neil Sullivan, said the mayor supported condom access for youth but was concerned about the risks, both emotional and physical, of teen-age sex.
''He's making a clear statement that as a society we should be working very hard to discourage teen-age sex and promiscuity,'' Sullivan said.
Flynn has long opposed distributing condoms in schools.