Background Relationship type and perception of importance of the relationship may be predictors of condom use.
Methods Men who presented at STD clinics in New Orleans, LA and Jackson, MS with NGU, tested positive for Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct), or were contacts of women with Ct underwent computer-assisted/self-administered interviews and were asked to report information on up to 4 sexual partners in the last two months. Importance of relationship was determined using 4 variables: having history together, shared feelings, commitment to each other, and physical passion.
Results 1065 men reported information on 1924 partnerships; 98.9% of which were with women, 47% were considered main, but only 30% of the men lived with and 6% were married to main partners. Relationships were described as: girlfriend/boyfriend (32%), mother-of-child (6.8%), friend-with-benefit (26.4%), sex with but not friend (6.2%), ex-girlfriend/boyfriend (9.1%), someone I want to have relationship with (5.8%), one night stand (12.3%), paid for sex (1.4%). Most (82.1%) had sex in a home, while 11.3% in hotel, and 6.6% in public place/other. Importance of relationship variables by relationship (most important to least 1–8) were: girlfriend/boyfriend (1.1) and mother-of-child (1.7), and someone I might want to have a relationship (2.6), ex-girlfriend/boyfriend (3.7), friend-with-benefit (5.3), sex but not friend (6.8), paid for sex (7.1) and one night stand (7.2). The less important the relationship was, the more likely they were to be using a condom O.R. 1.13 (95% C.I. 1.08–1.18). Condom use at last sex act was least likely with the mother of child (34.5%) and most likely with paid to have sex (91.7%). Condom use was between 51% - 78% for the other categories.
Conclusion In general, condoms were used more frequently with partners whose relationships were perceived as less important, but this was not universal.
- condom use
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