, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 423-432
Date: 26 Oct 2005

Condom Attitudes and Behaviors Among Injection Drug Users Participating in California Syringe Exchange Programs

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This study examined condom attitudes, preferences, barriers, and use among a sample of 550 injection drug using clients of syringe exchange programs in California. In multivariate analyses, positive attitudes toward condoms were significantly associated with consistent condom use for vaginal, anal, and oral sex in the past six months, beyond the effects of confounding socio-demographic and HIV risk variables. Participants commonly cited partner-related barriers to condom use, such as reluctance to use condoms with steady partners (34%). Almost a quarter of the sample cited dislike of condoms (e.g., because of pleasure reduction). In addition, a third of respondents stated specific preferences regarding condom brands, sensitivity, sizes, and textures. Interventions that increase awareness about positive aspects of condom use and sexual risk from steady partners may be successful in increasing condom use among injection drug users.