[Condom use staging and correlations among gay and bisexual men. A questionnaire survey of Osaka gay bar customers]

Published: July 1, 2011

Abstract
OBJECTIVES:

This study aimed to clarify stages of condom use among gay and bisexual men at gay bars in Osaka and to assess relationships between condom use stage and attitudes and norms regarding HIV prevention.
METHODS:

In this cross-sectional study, a self-administered survey was distributed to gay bar customers in Osaka in 2005. Completed surveys were received through the mail. Participants were divided into five groups based on condom use with regular and casual partners: pre-contemplation; contemplation; preparation; action; and maintenance. These five groups were merged into three groups: precontemplation; contemplation/preparation; and action/maintenance. Associations between these three groups of condom use stage and correlates were assessed.
RESULTS:

Among the 601 respondents (response rate, 44.9%), data from 546 men with lifetime sexual experience with men were used. Regarding stage distribution, the highest percentage of participants was in the pre-contemplation stage with a regular partner, and in the maintenance stage with casual partners. Activities of "MASH Osaka", a gay non-governmental organization, were widely recognized across all stages. The feeling of being unable to tell a partner to use a condom if the partner resisted condom use, being in a long-term relationship, difficulty using condoms when under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and self-efficacy all correlated with condom use stages.
CONCLUSION:

This study clarified condom use stages and correlations among gay and bisexual men at gay bars in Osaka. More research is needed to assess the reliability and validity of these scale items. Monitoring stage distributions and correlations with stages will be useful to evaluate HIV prevention activities.

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