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Condom breakage among African-American men.

African-American men are at high risk of HIV acquisition. Condom breakage is an understudied aspect of their sexual protective behaviour. This study identified user errors leading to condom breakage among 264 young, African-American men newly diagnosed with an STI at an STI clinic in a city in southern USA. The condom breakage rate was high, with 21% self-reporting condom breakage the last time a condom was used for penile-vaginal sex. Breakage declined with advancing age. Men who had used an oil-based lubricant were more than three times as likely to report breakage. Although the deteriorating effect of oil-based lubricants on latex condoms is well known, nearly one in seven of the men applied one the last time they used a condom. Men who completely unrolled the condom before putting it on were about three times as likely to report breakage. It may be that men excessively stretch an unrolled condom to place it on their penis, and that unrolled condoms are often misapplied and prone to friction and breakage. The breakage rate for men indicating both errors (use of oil-based lubricant and unrolling the condom before application) was 55% compared with 33% among those indicating either error, and 13% among those indicating neither error. These common problems could be mitigated by counselling men to avoid using oil-based lubricants and by teaching them basic condom application skills. The modest requirements of these two prevention messages make their implementation feasible.

(1.) Crosby R, DiClemente RJ, Yarber WL, et al. An event-specific analysis of condom breakage among African American men at risk of HIV acquisition. Sexually Transmitted Diseases 2008;35(2):174-77.
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Title Annotation:ROUND UP: Condoms
Publication:Reproductive Health Matters
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2008
Words:269
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