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Condom Use Rates in a National Probability Sample of Males and Females Ages 14 to 94 in the United States


Michael Reece, PhD, MPH, Indiana University, Center for Sexual Health Promotion, HPER 116, 1025 East Seventh Street, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA. Tel: 8128550068; Fax: 8128553936; E-mail:


Introduction.  Given the efficacy of latex condoms for preventing pregnancy, HIV, and most STI, their promotion remains central to global sexual health efforts. To inform the development of accurate and appropriately-targeted interventions, there is a need for contemporary condom use rates among specific populations.

Aims.  The purpose of this study was to establish rates of condom use among sexually active individuals in the U.S. population.

Methods.  Data were collected via a national probability sample of 5,865 U.S. adolescents and adults aged 14 to 94 years.

Main Outcome Measures.  Condom use was assessed during the most recent partnered vaginal or anal sexual event and over the past 10 vaginal and anal intercourse events.

Results.  Condom use by men during past 10 vaginal intercourse events was slightly higher (21.5%) than that reported by women (18.4%), and consistent with rates of condom use reported during most recent vaginal intercourse by men (24.7%) and women (21.8%). Adolescent men reported condom use during 79.1% of the past 10 vaginal intercourse events, adolescent women reported use during 58.1% of the same. Condom use during past 10 anal intercourse events was higher among men (25.8%) than women (13.2%); the same was observed for most recent anal intercourse event (26.5% for insertive men, 44.1% for receptive men, and 10.8% for receptive women). Generally, condom use was highest among unmarried adults, higher among adolescents than adults, and higher among black and Hispanic individuals when compared with other racial groups.

Conclusion.  These data indicate clear trends in condom use across age, gender, relationship status, and race/ethnicity. These contemporary rates of condom use will be helpful to those who lead efforts to increase condom use among individuals who may be at risk for sexually transmitted infections or who desire to prevent pregnancy. Reece M, Herbenick D, Schick V, Sanders SA, Dodge B, and Fortenberry JD. Condom use rates in a national probability sample of males and females ages 14 to 94 in the United States. J Sex Med 2010;7(suppl 5):266–276.