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Consistent and correct use of the male condom is a critical measure for preventing STI-related morbidity and mortality, yet condom use remains low worldwide and researchers have made limited progress in identifying positive factors that facilitate regular condom use. From 2001 to 2003 the Population Council explored the behavior of individuals who use condoms successfully. Findings on factors that facilitate or impede successful use could be used to develop more effective condom promotion strategies in family planning and STI prevention programs. The projects used qualitative data from successful condom users within three categories: male and female factory workers; male and female high school and university students; and female sex workers and their male clients. Researchers screened successful condom users through a 75-point scale that assessed the frequency and effectiveness of condom use as well as positive and negative experiences with condoms. Studies in the Dominican Republic and Mexico showed that regular condom users obtained personal benefits, including a sense of security. As noted in this summary, condom promotion initiatives should emphasize the positive aspects of condom use and make condoms available through alternative venues.






Frontiers in Reproductive Health