November 11, 2011
The researchers wrote that while condoms must be used consistently and correctly to provide protection against STIs and pregnancy, "a significant proportion of couples in the United States fail to do so." The team undertook the current study to determine the demographic and behavioral correlates of inconsistent and incorrect condom use among sexually active women who use condoms.
The authors analyzed baseline data from a prospective cohort of sexually active condom-using women in the Contraceptive CHOICE Project (n=2,087) using self-reported demographic and behavioral characteristics. Poisson regression determined the relative risk of inconsistent and incorrect condom use after adjusting for variables significant in univariate analysis.
Forty-one percent (n=847) of the women reported inconsistent condom use; 36 percent (n=757) reported incorrect condom use. A higher number of unprotected sex acts was most strongly associated with reporting 10 or more sex acts in the past 30 days, younger age at first intercourse, less perceived willingness of partner to use condoms, and lower condom use self-efficacy. Incorrect use of condoms was associated with reporting 10 or more sex acts in the past 30 days, greater perceived risk for STIs in the future, and inconsistent condom use.
"Inconsistent and incorrect condom use is common among sexually active women," the authors concluded. "Targeted educational efforts and prevention strategies should be implemented among women at highest risk for STIs and unintended pregnancies to increase consistent and correct condom use."
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
11.2011; Vol. 38; No. 11: P. 1012-1019; Shirley L. Shih, Chelsea A. Kebodeaux, Gina M. Secura, Jenifer E. Allsworth, Tessa Madden, Jeffrey F. Peipert
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