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Prev Med. 2005 Nov-Dec;41(5-6):873-6. Epub 2005 Oct 27.

Correlates of condom failure among adolescent males: an exploratory study.

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Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, GA 30322, USA.



To identify the prevalence and correlates of condom failure (defined as breakage or slipping off in the past 90 days) among a sample of adolescent males (15 to 21 years of age).


A cross-sectional study of 481 condom-using males residing in three US cities (Atlanta, GA, Providence RI, Miami FL). Data were collected, in the years 2000 and 2001, using audio computer-assisted self-interviewing technology. Prevalence ratios were used to determine the strength and significance of bivariate associations between ten assessed correlates and condom failure. Correlates achieving a screening level of significance were entered into a multivariate model that was used to calculate adjusted odds ratios (AOR).


Recent condom failure was reported by 34.1%. Younger adolescents were about one-third less likely to report condom failure (AOR = 0.66; P = 0.4). Adolescents reporting multiple sex partners were about 80% more likely to report failure (AOR = 1.84; P = 0.09). Adolescents indicating they had sex with someone on the same day they met the person were about 80% more likely to report failure (AOR = 1.77; P = 0.02). Finally, adolescents indicating recent problems obtaining condoms were about 70% more likely to report failure (AOR = 1.69; P = 0.1). Failure was not less common among those reporting a history of STD infection or those ever impregnating a partner.


Because adolescent males may commonly experience condom failure, targeted clinic- and community-based programs designed to reduce user error could be an important aspect of preventing pregnancy and the spread of STDs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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