Substance Use May Not Be Associated With Condom Errors And Problems

Bobbie Emetu

To assess the relationship between frequency of being drunk and high during sex and condom use errors and problems among a sample of high-risk young Black males (YBM) recruited from the United States. Data were collected in clinics treating STDs in three southern U.S. cities. Males 15-23 years of age (N = 697) who identified as Black/African American and reported recent (past two months) condom use were eligible. Measures of alcohol and drug use, as well as condom use behaviors were assessed by audio-computer assisted self-interview. Eighteen condom use errors and problems (CUEP) were included in this assessment. Sixteen bivariate correlations were obtained. The magnitude of the coefficients was small, ranging from .01-.13. Only three were significant. These were positive associations between frequency of being drunk and frequency of unprotected vaginal sex as well as frequency of the 18-item measure of CUEP. A significant correlation was also found between frequency of being high during sex and frequency of unprotected vaginal sex. Adjustments for age did not change the findings. Interventions designed to promote safer sex behaviors among YBM attending STD clinics are no more likely to benefit patients through the inclusion of messages and training attempting to dissuade the use of alcohol and drugs before or during sex.

Crosby, R., Milhausen, R., Sanders, S., Graham, C., & Yarber, W. (2014). Being drunk and high during sex is not associated with condom use behaviors: a study of high-risk young black males. Sexual Health. (In Press)

To access this full article, email correspondence to:
Dr. Richard Crosby, PhD


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