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Habitual condom use across partner type and sexual position among younger gay and bisexual men: findings from New Zealand HIV behavioural surveillance 2006–2011
  1. N J Lachowsky1,2,
  2. C E Dewey1,2,
  3. N P Dickson3,
  4. P J W Saxton4,
  5. A J Hughes5,
  6. R R Milhausen6,
  7. A J S Summerlee7
  1. 1Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario Canada
  3. 3Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  4. 4Department of Social and Community Health, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  5. 5Research Analysis and Information Unit, New Zealand AIDS Foundation, Auckland, New Zealand
  6. 6Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
  7. 7Department of Biomedical Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr N J Lachowsky, British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, 608—1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6Z 1Y6; nlachowsky{at}


Objectives Our objectives were to investigate demographic and behavioural factors associated with condom use and to examine how habitual condom use was across partner types and sexual positions among younger men who have sex with men (YMSM), aged 16–29, surveyed in New Zealand.

Methods We analysed the 2006–2011 national HIV behavioural surveillance data from YMSM who reported anal intercourse in four scenarios of partner type and sexual position: casual insertive, casual receptive, regular insertive and regular receptive. For each, respondents’ condom use was classified as frequent (always/almost always) or otherwise, with associated factors identified with multivariate mixed-effect logistic regression. Habitual condom use across scenarios was examined using a latent variable technique that estimated the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC).

Results Frequent condom use was reported for 63.6% of 5153 scenarios reported from 2412 YMSM. Frequent use increased from boyfriend to fuckbuddy to casual partners. Infrequent use was associated with online recruitment, Pacific ethnicity, less education, HIV positivity, sex with women, having ≥20 sexual partners versus 1 and reporting insertive and receptive sexual positions. Frequent condom use was associated with having two to five sexual partners versus one and shorter regular partnerships. The ICC=0.865 indicated highly habitual patterns of use; habitual infrequent condom use was most prevalent with regular partners (53.3%) and habitual frequent condom use was most prevalent with casual partners (70.2%) and for either sexual position (50.5% and 49.1%).

Conclusions Habitual condom use among YMSM highlights the value of early, engaging and sustained condom promotion. Public health should provide better and more compelling condom education, training and promotion for YMSM.

  • HIV

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