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December 23, 1992

What's in a Name When Efficacy Isn't Efficacious?

Author Affiliations

Medical College of Georgia Augusta

JAMA. 1992;268(24):3434. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490240042029

To the Editor.  —This letter relates to the article by Kreiss et al1 published in JAMA. I am concerned that the title is somewhat confusing, as it seems to suggest that the nonoxynol 9 may indeed be effective in preventing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) acquisition. If I understand the article correctly, this is in fact not the case, and the authors state that they were unable to demonstrate that nonoxynol 9 sponge use was effective in reducing the risk of HIV infection among highly exposed women.I wonder if a title such as "Failure of Nonoxynol 9 Contraceptive Sponge Use..." or "Lack of Efficacy of Nonoxynol 9 Contraceptive Sponge Use..." would have been more appropriate. My fear is that busy clinicians may glance at a title and try to extract information from that, and in this case would come up with misleading information.I showed the title to my wife,