Problems with condom use among patients attending sexually transmitted disease clinics: Prevalence, predictors, and relation to incident gonorrhea and chlamydia

Lee Warner, Daniel R. Newman, Mary L. Kamb, Martin Fishbein, John M. Douglas, Jonathan Zenilman, Laura D'Anna, Gail Bolan, Judy Rogers, Thomas Peterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Condom use remains important for sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevention. This analysis examined the prevalence of problems with condoms among 1,152 participants who completed a supplemental questionnaire as part of Project RESPECT, a counseling intervention trial conducted at five publicly funded STD clinics between 1993 and 1997. Altogether, 336 participants (41%, 95% confidence interval: 38, 45) reporting condom use indicated that condoms broke, slipped off, leaked, or were not used throughout intercourse in the previous 3 months. Correspondingly, 8.9% (95% confidence interval: 7.0, 9.5) of uses resulted in STD exposure if partners were infected because of delayed application of condoms (4.3% of uses), breakage (2.0%), early removal (1.4%), slippage (1.3%), or leakage (0.4%). Use problems were significantly associated with reporting inconsistent condom use, multiple partners, and other condom problems. One-hundred thirty participants completing the questionnaire were tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia at this time and also 3 months earlier. Twenty-one (16.2%) were infected with incident gonorrhea and chlamydia, with no infections among consistent users reporting no use problems. Exact logistic regression revealed a significant dose-response relation between increased protection from condom use and reduced gonorrhea and chlamydia risk (p trend = 0.032). Both consistency of use and use problems must be considered in studies of highly infectious STD to avoid underestimating condom effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-349
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Volume167
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2008

Keywords

  • Chlamydia
  • Contraceptive devices, male
  • Gonorrhea
  • HIV infections
  • Sexual behavior
  • Sexually transmitted diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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