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A Study of the Deficiencies in the Condom-Use Skills of Gay Men

David J. Martin
Public Health Reports (1974-)
Vol. 105, No. 6 (Nov. - Dec., 1990), pp. 638-640
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4628966
Page Count: 3
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
A Study of the Deficiencies in the Condom-Use Skills of Gay Men
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Abstract

The use of condoms has been advocated as an important method of reducing the risk of AIDS for such people as gay men, prostitutes, IV drug users, adolescents, hemophiliacs, and others who may become infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS. Although AIDS risk-reduction programs have provided information on condoms, none has assessed baseline or followup skills in their use. Because most condom failures have been attributed to errors in use, promoters of condom use should determine whether they are used correctly among those persons targeted for education. A total of 219 gay men entering an AIDS risk-reduction program were asked to demonstrate the use of condoms on a model. All errors made during the demonstration were corrected, and participants were trained during the exercise in the proper use of condoms. More than 80 percent required correction in such things as opening the package, determining the outside of the condom, unrolling the condom to the base of the penis, and expressing air from the space at the tip of the penis. Although proper use of condoms may seem obvious, this small study demonstrates that it must be taught. Since instructions found in condom packaging frequently are not easily understood by potential users, explicit instructions for condom use are needed.

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