Condom use errors and problems: a study of high-risk young Black men residing in three Southern US cities

Richard A. Crosby, Robin R. Milhausen, Stephanie A. Sanders, Cynthia A. Graham, William L. Yarber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The primary aim of this study was to assess self-reported frequencies of selected condom use errors and problems, using a retrospective recall period of 2 months, among young Black men attending sexually transmitted infection clinics. A secondary objective was to determine whether more errors/problems occurred among men reporting sex with multiple partners compared with those reporting one sexual partner. Data were collected in clinics treating patients with sexually transmitted infections in three Southern US cities. Men, 15–23 years of age who identified as Black/African American and reported recent (past 2 months) condom use were eligible (N = 475). Condom use errors and problems were common, with some of the most critical errors occurring for greater than one of every five young Black men, such as late application, early removal, slipping off during sex, and re-using condoms. For 8 (33.3%) of the 24 errors/problems assessed, young Black men reporting more than one sexual partner in the previous 2 months experienced more errors and problems than men reporting only one partner. The disease protective value of condoms may be sub-optimal in this population. A need exists to improve the quality of condom use among young Black men at risk of sexually transmitted infection acquisition or transmission. Intensified clinic-based intervention that helps young Black men improve the quality of their condom use behaviours is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)943-948
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number13
StatePublished - Nov 8 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2014.


  • Sexually transmitted infection
  • condoms
  • prevention
  • sexual behavior
  • sexually transmitted diseases
  • young men

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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