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Condom use with steady and casual partners in inner city African-American communities


Objectives: This study examined rates of and factors associated with consistent condom use with steady partner and with casual partners in inner city African-American communities with high sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevalence.

Methods: Structured interviews were conducted using street intercept methods and venue based sampling with 997 African-American residents of inner city neighbourhoods in Houston and Dallas, Texas; of which data were analysed for the 736 that reported having sex in past 2 months. Condom use was measured as a proportion of use in last five sex acts with steady and casual partners.

Results: Reported rates of consistent condom use were high—31.4% with steady partner and 29.5% with casual partner. Multivariate logistic models differed by type of partner. Married people and those with history of STI were less likely to use condoms with the main partner, while older people were less likely and males, and those visiting a doctor more likely to use condoms with casual partners.

Conclusions: The proportion of condom use with both partner types was relatively high reflecting a general trend towards increased condom use in the United States. The finding of lower reported rates with casual partners has been discussed. Factors associated with condom use differ according to type of partner. Precise measurement of actual condom use continues to be an elusive task but is required for the design of appropriate messages and evaluation of STI programmes.

  • CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • CPOLs, community based popular opinion leaders
  • HMAs, high morbidity areas
  • STD, sexually transmitted disease
  • STI, sexually transmitted infection
  • African-Americans
  • inner city
  • condom use
  • steady partners
  • casual partners
  • street intercept methods
  • sampling

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