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Medical News

Condom Use Is Still Baffling to Many

January 31, 2003

A recent survey reveals that a large percentage of sexually active young adults are not using condoms properly. Dr. Diane Civic, an epidemiologist at Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, and colleagues at the University of Washington and Duke University, studied 779 sexually active unmarried women ages 18- 24 who were recent condom users. The women were enrolled in two health maintenance centers run by Group Health.

Forty-four percent of the women revealed that within the previous three months, they had waited too long for the condom to be applied. Nineteen percent reported the condom slipped or broke during intercourse, placing them at risk of disease and pregnancy. Among those for whom condoms were the main method of contraception, 59 percent waited until after initial penetration for the condom to be applied. The delay may have exposed them to viable sperm and infectious organisms, including HIV, in the pre-ejaculate fluids.

"Other studies suggest this is a common practice," Civic said. "We don't know if women don't understand the risk involved, or they're willing to take the risk."

Impediments to effective condom use include embarrassment, not knowing how to approach the subject, lack of preparedness, unanticipated sexual activity, and concerns about alienating or insulting a partner.

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The full report, "Ineffective Use of Condoms Among Young Women in Managed Care," was published in the journal AIDS Care (2002;14(6):779-788).

Back to other CDC news for January 31, 2003

Previous Updates

Adapted from:
Orange County Register
01.22.03; Jane E. Brody



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 

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