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Fam Plann Perspect. 1997 Nov-Dec;29(6):261-7.

The use of condoms with other contraceptive methods among young men and women.

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Division of Adolescent and School Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA, USA.

Erratum in

  • Fam Plann Perspect 1998 Jan-Feb;30(1):18.


In a nationally representative sample of sexually experienced youths aged 14-22, 37% of young women and 52% of young men said the condom was the primary method used to prevent pregnancy at last intercourse; an additional 8% and 7%, respectively, said they used a condom at last intercourse; much of this represents dual use [corrected]. Condom use at last intercourse was reported by 25% of young men whose partner was using the pill. Significant independent predictors of condom use with the pill among men included younger age, black race, engaging in fewer nonsexual risk behaviors and having received instruction about HIV in school. Among young women, 21% of those relying on the pill reported also using a condom at last intercourse. For women, independent predictors of dual use included younger age, black race, older age at first sex, fewer nonsexual risk behaviors, having no partners in the previous three months and having talked to parents or other adult relatives about HIV.


The prevalence of combined use of condoms and non-barrier contraceptive methods for the purpose of dual protection against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) was investigated in data from the 1992-93 US Youth Risk Behavior Survey. In this nationally representative sample of 4260 sexually active youth 14-22 years of age, 37% of females and 52% of males reported reliance on the condom at last intercourse as the primary method to prevent pregnancy. An additional 8% of females and 7% of males had used a condom for noncontraceptive purposes. Condom use at most recent intercourse was reported by 25% of males whose sexual partner was using oral contraceptives (OCs) and 21% of OC users. Black women had the highest and Hispanic women the lowest rate of dual condom/OC use. Other significant independent predictors of combined condom/OC use were--among males--younger age, engaging in fewer nonsexual risk behaviors (e.g., seatbelt non-use), and instruction about HIV in school and--among females--younger age, older age at first intercourse, fewer nonsexual risk behaviors, no sexual partners in the previous 3 months, and discussions with parents or other adults about HIV. These findings suggest that, for the majority of young people, the condom is primarily viewed as a means of preventing pregnancy and that prevention of HIV and other STDs is not a separate goal. Counseling and education should clearly define the efficacy of current methods of protection against STDs and pregnancy and clarify the distinct risk factors for these two outcomes.

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