Consistent condom use in the heterosexual relationships of young adults who live in a high-HIV-risk neighbourhood and do not use “hard drugs”

S. R. Friedman, P. L. Flom, B. J. Kottiri, A. Neaigus, M. Sandoval, R. Curtis, D. C. Des Jarlais, J. M. Zenilman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study was set up to determine the predictors of condom use in the heterosexual non-commercial sexual relationships of young adults who neither inject drugs nor use cocaine, heroin or crack, in a neighbourhood with widespread drug-use-connected HIV. The analytic sample is 279 young adults, aged 18-24, who have never injected drugs and who have not used heroin, cocaine or crack in the last year. They were recruited in the Bushwick neighbourhood of New York City, July 1997 to September 1999. A face-to-face interview included items about their sociodemographic background, substance use and sexual networks. Sexual relationship and self-reported consistent (100%) condom use over the prior year with the partner in a given relationship was examined. Subjects had 337 heterosexual non-commercial relationships. Consistent condom use was reported in 32% of these relationships. In multiple logistic regression, consistent condom use was more likely in relationships that are not 'very close' (odds ratio = 3.92; 95% confidence interval = 2.08, 7.52); in the relationships of subjects whose peer norms support condom use (OR = 1.94; 95% CI= 1.43, 2.69), who are not problem drinkers (OR = 8.70; 95% CI = 2.22, 58.8), and (perhaps as a result of measurement issues) who are men (OR = 1.95; 95% CI = 1.04, 3.68). In conclusion, consistent condom use remains uncommon among youth in this high-risk neighbourhood. It is thus important to keep HIV from entering the sexual networks of youth in communities like this through programmes aimed at drug injectors and their sexual partners. Programmes to increase condom use among young adults should focus on strengthening norms that promote safer sex to protect oneself and others. In addition, assistance should be provided to youth who are problem drinkers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-296
Number of pages12
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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