Unprotected sexual intercourse places a substantial number of adolescents at risk for sexually transmitted disease (STD) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. While the most effective means of preventing STD/ HIV infection among sexually active adolescents is consistent condom use, little is known about the factors that influence their consistent use among adolescents. This study of adolescents (n = 1049, mean age = 16.2 years) found that of the 266 teens who recently became sexually active, only 29% reported using condoms consistently. Consistent condom use was more frequent in males, those with little history of risk behavior and those with stronger intentions to use condoms in the future. Fear and anxiety of HIV, attitudes about risks other than HIV, and other safe behavior intentions were not significantly related to consistent condom use. Although intentions and recent behavior were significantly related, a different group of factors was found to predict intention to use condoms (e.g., perception of condom use by friends, general impulsive attitudes). Identifying and understanding the factors that influence adolescent sexual behavior and intentions is important for developing maximally effective HIV education/prevention programs.
- Sex behavior HIV Condom use
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health