Reported condom use and condom use difficulties in street outreach samples of men of four racial and ethnic backgrounds

E. James Essien, Michael W. Ross, Maria Eugenia Fernández-Esquer, Mark L. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The epidemiology of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States has focused research attention on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered communities as well as on racial and ethnic minorities. Much of that attention has, however, been focused on specific racial and ethnic groups, and specific sexual minorities. We report on the results of a study that examined the association between condom use and partnership types among men from four major racial/ethnic groups. Self-reported data on sexual identity (homosexual, bisexual, and heterosexual) and condom use in the past three months were collected from 806 African Americans, Hispanic, Asian, and white men intercepted in public places in Houston, TX. Data indicated that condom use was lowest in African Americans and Hispanic men, bisexual men reported the highest levels of use, with heterosexual men reporting the lowest use. African Americans and Hispanic men reported generally that it was very difficult to use a condom during sexual contact, although the patterns for self-identified homosexual, heterosexual, and bisexual men varied across race/ethnicity. Homosexual African American men reported the least difficulty, and white homosexual men the most difficulty compared with heterosexual and bisexual peers. For homosexually identified men, there were considerable differences across race/ethnicity in the proportion of partners who never or rarely disagreed to use condoms, with Asians disagreeing least, and African Americans most. Within racial/ethnic groups, the levels of condom use and difficulty were similar for male and female partners, suggesting that it is sexual identity, rather than partner gender, that has impacted condom-use messages. These data suggest that racial/ethnic targeting of condom use is likely to be most efficacious in increasing condom use in men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)739-743
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2005

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • AIDS
  • Condom use
  • Ethnicity
  • HIV
  • Race
  • Sexual identity

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