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Use of condoms in stable discordant couples (SDC): preliminary data from a qualitative study project.
Agud JM; Urzelai A; Abascal E; Portu JJ; Aldamiz-e M; Hospital
January 30, 1997
Int Conf AIDS. 1996 Jul 7-12;11(1):174 (abstract no. Mo.D.1702). Unique

Objective: To describe factors or circumstances which favour or disfavour the use of condoms in SDC. To determine how to approach SDCs so as to reduce the risk of infection. Methods: Consecutive SDCs are studied in which one of the members comes to our out-patient clinic. During the same visit a doctor and a nurse interview one of the members of the couple, the infected one or the non infected one, or both depending on their availability. Results: 38 couples were studied (50% infected men and 50% infected women). Risk factors: 84% IVDU, 8% heterosexual infections. 70% were AIDS. 31.6% did not use condoms. 68.4% used condoms. In the first 20 interviews ("incomplete") we established the questionnaire, location and form of presentation and the number of interviewers. 18 interviews were "complete".Use of condoms does not seem to be related to any of the following: sex, disease severity, risk factors, current drug use. SDCs appear to practice sex less often. The use of condoms does not seem to be related to the educational level, nor to the stability/duration of the couple's relationship, nor to their previous experience in condom use. Users and non-users declare the same problems with condoms. Wish to have children does not alter usage of condoms either. Conclusions: Out-patient clinics are the ideal place for determining patterns and inducing changes in SDCs behaviour. Our sample does not enable us to identify higher risk couple groups with whom to intervene in a more specific manner. Individual counselling is irreplaceable. A couple is an item and the use of condoms depends on the behaviour of each of its components but also on the interaction between the two of them. We think more qualitative studies on the behaviour of couples are very necessary.

*Condoms/UTILIZATION *HIV Infections/PREVENTION & CONTROL *Sex Behavior *Sexual Partners *Sexually Transmitted Diseases/PREVENTION & CONTROL