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BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 12 October 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:798
  1. Harvey Marcovitch, syndication editor (
  1. BMJ

    Condom using youngsters still at risk

    Young people using condoms often do so in a way that it is not properly protective. Of 1373 teenagers aged 16-18 years who were questioned, 375 reported engaging in vaginal sex using condoms. Of these, 108 were asked to keep a diary of sexual encounters over six months. In 7% of sex episodes a condom was applied after initial penetration, and in 2% of cases a condom was removed early. In all, nearly a third of the respondents recalled at least one episode of inadequate use. They were more likely to rely also on other methods of contraception; intriguingly, young men who reported a close maternal relationship in their teenage years were more likely to use condoms efficiently.

    The authors recommend that it is not enough that programmes designed to improve sexual health and prevent sexually transmitted infection …

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