Differences between Men and Women in Condom Use, Attitudes, and Skills in Substance Abuse Treatment Seekers

Authors

  • Donald A. Calsyn PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
    • Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
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  • Michelle Peavy PhD,

    1. Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
    Current affiliation:
    1. Dr. Peavy is now with Evergreen Treatment Services in Seattle, WA
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  • Elizabeth A. Wells PhD,

    1. School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
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  • Aimee N. C. Campbell PhD,

    1. Substance Abuse Division, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York
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  • Mary A. Hatch-Maillette PhD,

    1. Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
    2. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
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  • Shelly F. Greenfield MD, MPH,

    1. McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Susan Tross PhD

    1. Substance Abuse Division, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York
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Address correspondence to Dr. Calsyn, UW Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute, 1107 NE 45th St., Suite 120, Seattle, WA 98105. E-mail: calsyn@u.washington.edu.

Abstract

Background

For substance abuse treatment-seekers engaging in high risk sexual behavior, their inconsistent condom use may be related to their condom use attitudes and skills.

Objective

This study compared treatment-seeking male and female substance abusers in their reported barriers to condom use and condom use skills.

Methods

Men and women (N = 1,105) enrolled in two multi-site HIV risk reduction studies were administered the Condom Barriers Scale, Condom Use Skills, and an audio computer-assisted structured interview assessing sexual risk behavior.

Results

Men endorsed more barriers to condom use, especially on the Effects on Sexual Experience factor. For both men and women, stronger endorsement of barriers to condom use was associated with less use of condoms. However, the difference between condom users and non-users in endorsement of condom barriers in general is greater for men than women, especially for those who report having casual partners.

Conclusions

Findings support the need to focus on gender-specific barriers to condom use in HIV/STI prevention interventions, especially risk behavior intervention techniques that address sexual experience with condoms.

Scientific Significance

Results provide additional information about the treatment and prevention needs of treatment-seeking men and women. (Am J Addict 2013;22:150-157)

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