Consistent condom use in married Zimbabwean women after a condom intervention

Sex Transm Dis. 2008 Jun;35(6):624-30. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e31816b3208.


Objectives: Condom use to prevent HIV in Africa has increased in nonmarital sexual encounters but remains low within marriage. Married women of reproductive age, however, are at high risk of HIV.

Goal: This study investigated factors associated with consistent condom use after a brief intervention.

Study design: We conducted an HIV prevention condom intervention with a cohort of 394 married women, aged 17 to 47, recruited from clinics in Zimbabwe. Consistent condom users were ineligible. At enrollment, participants received education and were offered free male and female condoms and HIV testing. Women completed a follow-up questionnaire at 2-months. We used logistic regression analysis to measure the association of protected sex (i.e., 100% use of male or female condoms) at follow-up with condom attitudes, negotiation skills, HIV risk perception and testing.

Results: At follow-up, 179 (48.5%) women reported consistent condom use throughout the study, and 318 (87%) reported condom use at last sexual episode; 72 women tested HIV-positive, only 4 of whom reported at enrollment that it was likely that they were infected. Results showed that women who tested positive were more likely to report consistent condom use (OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.7-5.2). HIV risk perceptions and condom negotiation self-efficacy increased postintervention, and were significantly associated with consistent condom use. Hormonal contraception was negatively associated with consistent condom use (OR 0.3, 95% CI 0.19-0.65).

Conclusions: Married women reported significant increases in consistent condom use in response to a brief intervention, especially if HIV-positive.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marital Status*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Safe Sex
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / diagnosis
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control
  • Zimbabwe