The use of condoms to prevent the further spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is one of the main themes of the government's health education campaign against AIDS. A study of the use of and attitudes towards condoms in 222 heterosexual men and women attending a department of genitourinary medicine (GUM) in central London showed that 55% (50/91) to 59% (41/70) of men or women never, and 6% (6/95) to 15% (14/91) always, used condoms with their regular or non-regular sexual partners. No major differences were found in the use of or attitudes to condoms according to age, sex, social class, or civil status. Attitudes towards the use of condoms were generally negative. These attitudes, in combination with the infrequent use of condoms with regular (and even more with non-regular) sexual partners, must be a cause for concern if the further spread of HIV is to be avoided.
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