Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are an important public health problem, due to their medical, social and economic repercussions. Therefore, more knowledge is needed about the sexual behaviour that promotes their spread, in order to improve control and prevention strategies. Our aim was to determine the frequency of male condom use associated with sexual behaviour factors, a history of and knowledge about STDs in a sample of the male population in Mexico City. During 1994 a cross-sectional epidemiological study was carried out, using multi-stage sampling with conglomerates, in 1377 men from 15 to 49 years old. The mean age was 34.5 years (SD 7.5 years). Mean age at first sexual relations was 17.7 years (SD 2.8 years). The global proportion of condom use during the last sexual relation was 24.6%; use according to type of female sex partner in the last year was 18.8% with regular partners and 62.5% with occasional partners. The principal predictors of male condom use, identified through statistical modelling, were: younger age (<25 years), middle and high education level (>9 years), middle and high socioeconomic level and type of sexual partners (occasional and regular). This population has risk factors for acquiring and transmitting some STDs, such as occasional sexual partners and a history of STDs. Characteristics which are important in relation to male condom use were identified, such as age (younger than 35), education (complete junior high school or more) and type of sexual partners (occasional and regular).
PIP: A cross-sectional epidemiological study was conducted in 1994 to determine the frequency of condom use in Mexico City among sexually active men aged 15-49 years old, and the association with sexual behavior and a history of or knowledge about STDs. The 1377 men interviewed were of mean age 34.5 years, and experienced their first sexual intercourse at mean age 17.7 years. 47% of the men reported using a condom at least once in their lives and 81.6% were married. 79.4% reported having a formal partner, 14.6% had relations with occasional partners, and 6.1% with both regular and informal partners. 26.4% used a condom during their most recent sexual intercourse, 18.8% with formal partners and 62.5% with casual partners. Condom use with formal partners was largely to prevent pregnancy, while condom use with casual partners was to prevent the transmission of STDs. Young and single men were almost twice as likely to use condoms as older married men. The main predictors of male condom use were therefore being under 25 years old, having more than 9 years of formal education, being of middle to high socioeconomic status, and type of sex partners.