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Instead of resorting to juvenile mockery of the female condom Reality, Mark Francis Cohen’s article (“Barrier Method,” 10/20) would have been better served by more thorough research. Polyurethane, from which Reality is made, has been shown to prevent the transmission of HIV just as effectively as latex. Furthermore, because polyurethane conducts heat better than latex, many people consider polyurethane a superior alternative to ordinary condoms.

It is also untrue that female condoms are unavailable in D.C. As a volunteer at the Washington Free Clinic, I can attest that Reality is a frequently requested item. The clinic’s staff also makes regular visits to local drugstores to ensure that the product is available.

Adelphi, Md.