514 10th St, NW, Ste 400, Washington, DC 20004 
(202 )347-1140, FAX (202) 347-1168 
  The only national public-interest membership organization
devoted solely to women and health. 

  December 2, 1997

RE:  JANESWAY TM Panty Condom

 On behalf of the National Women's Health Network, I am writing to express our support for the ongoing development of the JANESWAYTM contraceptive device.  As you know, the Network has historically advocated for the development of women-controlled contraceptive methods which protect against sexually- transmitted diseases, including HIV.

 The JANESWAYTM condom has, in the earliest phases of research and testing, shown great potential as a highly acceptable contraceptive barrier device.  We believe that this device could add to the handful of methods that are in the control of women.  As the spectrum of barrier contraceptive choices is broadened, the numbers of women who are protected from STD's including HIV will also increase.

 Bringing new contraceptive technology such as JANESWAYTM from bench to medicine cabinets can only be accomplished with leadership and funding from contraceptive development organizations such as CONRAD and FHI, and federal research agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and United States Agency for International Development.

 Women the world over need and deserve a broader range of contraceptive choices which are safe and effective....  The Network believes that the JANESWAYTM would provide women around the world with a more expansive field of contraceptive options.

 There has never been a more urgent need to broaden the range of barrier methods.  In America, the number of women diagnosed with the AIDS virus increased by  63% versus 12.8% for men, and heterosexual sex has become the leading mode of transmission to women, according to the Center for Disease Control.  In 1996, the CDC reported that chlamydia and gonorrhea (two STD's which make women more vulnerable to HIV) were the two most frequently reported infectious diseases in the United States and that women comprise the majority of these cases.

 The Network believes that it is appropriate, indeed essential, that public research dollars support the continued clinical testing of the JANESWAYTM device.  The federal government and contraceptive research organization have a vested responsibility in encouraging the development of "two for one" contraceptive methods and we urge support for JANESWAYTM and for women's health.

 We look forward to working with you to bring JANESWAYTM to women around the world.


      Cynthia A. Pearson
      Executive Director

{Editor's note #1:  A "two for one" device is one that provides BOTH contraception and disease prevention (prophylaxis)}