Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention

RAP Time

(Volume 2, No. 11, November 6, 1998)

Issue Contents

Adolescent Condom Use Promoted by Condom Discussion with Mothers

Few studies have examined familial factors associated with adolescent condom use. A study of sexually experienced youth showed that youth discussing condoms with their mothers were more likely to use condoms during first and most recent sexual intercourse and had greater lifetime condom use.

Sample and Collection of Data
The sample was composed of 372 sexually active adolescents from the Family and Adolescent Risk Behavior Study, a cross-sectional interview study conducted in New York, Alabama and Puerto Rico among 14- to 17-year-old adolescents and their mothers. The sample comprised of youth who discussed condoms with their mother before the year of first coitus (n=122), youth who discussed condoms during the year of first coitus (n=78), youth who discussed condoms after the first year of coitus (n=63), and youth who had no discussion (n=109). The majority (84%) of the sample reported engaging in sexual intercourse more than once, with the average age of coital debut being 13.8 years.

Outcomes of the Study
About 71% reported having discussed condoms with their mother.

  • Youth discussing condoms with their mother the year before first intercourse were about three times more likely than those not discussing to report condom use during first coitus and nearly four times more likely to reported condom use during last coitus.
  • Regular condom use (more than 50% of all sexual encounters) was about three times more likely for adolescents reporting discussion about condoms in the year prior to their coital debut.
  • Discussing condoms during or after the first sexual intercourse was not associated with condom use, with a single exception: adolesecents discussing condoms the year after first intercourse were about two times more likely to report condom use during last sexual intercourse than youth never discussing condoms.
  • Females were about three times more likely than males to report condom use during their first coitus (this finding wascontrolled for in subsequent analyses).
  • Adolescents using condoms during their first coitus were 20 times and 10 times more likely to report regular condom use and condom use during last coitus, respectively, than adolescents not using condoms during last coitus.
  • Condom use during first sexual intercourse served as a link between discussion of condoms and condom use beyond first intercourse.

Implications for Prevention
Youth and their mothers should be encouraged to engage in open dialogue about condom use. This dialogue should occur before sexual debut and therefore may need to occur before youth reach the teen years. Education programs targeting parents and/or adolescents should promote such discussions as healthy and normative.

SOURCE: Miller, K. S. et al. (1998). Patterns of condom use among adolescents: The impact of mother-adolescent communication. American Journal of Public Health, 88, 1542-1544.

Sex Talk Related to Self-Efficacy and Assertiveness

Heterosexuals (n=835) who reported a new sex partner in the past 12 months were interviewed to determine their patterns of health-protective sexual commuication (HPSC).

The frequency of verbal interactions with a new sex partner about STD/HIV prevention (safe sex, sexual histories, and contraceptive use) was assessed. Sexual assertiveness, sexual sexual self-regulation, impression management, and other variables were also collected.

Persons with higher HPSC scores were more likely to score high on measures of sexual self-regulation, condom assertiveness, condom planning, sexual assertiveness, comfort using condoms and commitment to condom use. HPSC was negatively associated with lifetime number of sex partners.

Prevention programs should foster sexual communicaton.

SOURCE: van der Straten, A., Catania, J. A., & Pollack, L. (1998). Psychosocial correlates with health-protective sexual communication with new sexual partners: The National AIDS Behavioral Study. AIDS and Behavior, 2, 213-223.

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Some Women Use Protection Against Pregnancy and STD

Interviews were conducted with 552 low-income women at risk of HIV infection who attended public health or economic assistance facitities.

Overall, 20% of the women used methods to protect against both pregnancy and STDs. Women not married, who worried about both pregnancy and AIDS, who had ever had an STD, who were confident they could refuse a sexual encounter in the absence of a condom and who made family planning decisions jointly with their partner were the most likely to use dual methods rather than a single method.

Those who considered the condom only somewhat effective in preventing AIDS or who shared economic decision-making with their partner were the least likely to use dural methods rather than a single method. Male partner involement in family planning decision-making and women's control over economic decision-making ensure greater protective against HIV infection.

SOURCE: Riechman, K. S., et al. (1998). Dual-method use among an ethnically diverse group of women at risk of HIV infection. Family Planning Perspectives, 30, 212-222.

Girls Using Hormonal Contraception Less Likely to Use Condoms

A study of 578 female adolescents showed that girls using the pill, Norplant, or Depo-Provera were less likely to use condoms than girls whose only method of birth control was condoms. Girls with a history of STD were more likely to use condoms than those without history of STD.

SOURCE: Roye, C. F. (1998). Condom use by Hispanic and African-American adolescent girls who use hormonal contraception. Journal of Adolescent Health, 23, 205-211.

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HIV Remains Stable among Women

Although AIDS prevalence and mortality increased nationwide each year from 1989 through 1994, the number of women infected with HIV who had not yet developed AIDS changed little and was approximately 86,000 in 1994.

SOURCE: Davis, S. F., et al. (1998). Trends in HIV prevalence among childbearing women in the United States, 1989-1994. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology, 19, 158-164.