The Protective Value of Discussing Condom Use: A Study of Young Black Men Attending STI Clinics in the Southern United States

Richard Crosby, Shayna Skakoon-Sparling, Robin R. Milhausen, Stephanie Sanders, Cynthia A. Graham, William L. Yarber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Young Black men (YBM) experience disparities in both HIV incidence and incidence of bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs); thus, developing efficacious behavioral interventions is an especially critical goal. One potential avenue for intervention involves improving sexual health communications among YBM and their partners, before sex occurs. Such discussions may serve several purposes, including improving condom use and facilitating the negotiation of correct and consistent condom use. The aim of the current study was to determine the STI-protective effects of discussing condom use with sex partners, among medically underserved YBM. A total of 702 YBM were recruited from three STI clinics in the Southern United States. YBM completed a self-interview at baseline and again 6 months later. At 12 months postenrollment, a chart review determined incidents of STIs. The majority of YBM participants (61.1%) had recently discussed condom use with partners before sex. Of the 12 assessed outcomes, 7 were significantly associated with this measure. In each case, a protective effect was observed. In controlled analyses, the 12-month incidence of STIs was significantly (p =.05) greater among YBM not discussing condoms with sex partners. The results of the current study suggest that, among YBM attending clinics, discussing condom use with sex partners may promote safer sex practices. This behavior was also predictive of lower STI incidence in the ensuing 12 months, suggesting that it may be an ideal intervention target for programs designed to protect YBM against STI acquisition, including HIV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)706-713
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Society for Public Health Education.


  • HIV
  • STIs
  • condoms
  • safer sex
  • young Black men

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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