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CONTEXT: Public opinion is important in determining condom and condom education policies in public high schools.

METHODS: A random telephone survey of 517 Indiana residents was conducted from July through October 2003 to assess public opinion about education on correct condom use for HIV and STD prevention; condom availability in Indiana public high schools; and issues related to condom use, effectiveness and promotion. Data were analyzed using bivariate and linear regression techniques.

RESULTS: A majority of respondents strongly or somewhat agreed that instruction on correct condom use for HIV and STD prevention should be provided in public high schools (77%), classroom instruction should include condoms (71%), only medically accurate information about condoms should being given (94%) and the federal government should promote condoms (70%). Fewer than half (48%) strongly or somewhat agreed that condoms should be made available to teenagers in public high schools without parental permission. Nearly all (92%) considered condoms at least somewhat effective in preventing HIV and other STDs. Non-Republican party affiliation, younger age and condom use within the previous five years were each significantly associated with having positive opinions on many of the condom-related statements.

CONCLUSIONS: Public opinion appears to support the provision of correct condom use information in Indiana public schools. Schools should consider providing only medically accurate information about condoms and including condoms in instruction so students can see and touch them.