We examined the prevalence and correlates of condom use in a community-based sample of unmarried heterosexual and gay/bisexual Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics (aged 20 to 44 years) in San Francisco (n = 1229). Only 9% of heterosexual males reported always using condoms, and fewer of those with multiple sexual partners (6%) reported always using condoms compared with those in monogamous relationships (12%). Much higher proportions of gay/bisexual men reported always using condoms (48%). Racial differences in condom use were observed only among women. Sexual communication and the sexual enjoyment value of condoms were consistent correlates of condom use across gender and sexual orientation, while other condom-related beliefs were significant predictors of condom use only for men. In general, condom promotion programs should build sexual communication skills, teach people how to enhance enjoyment with condoms, and reduce psychological barriers to condom acquisition and use.
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