Play with fire, play with you sometimes : Social aspects of condom use among young people in Sweden

Sammanfattning: Although Sweden invests a great deal of money and effort in prevention work, STIs are a major problem in our society. Young people are at high risk both when it comes to unwanted pregnancies and STIs and several studies have revealed that the condom use is quite low. Condom use is a complex issue. There are often several factors that interact and affect the decision to use or not use condom. The result in this thesis shows that young people have behavioral expectation to use condom, especially for anal sex and vaginal sex with a casual partner (both known and unknown). At the same time, the condom use is low irrespective of type of partner and type of sex. Approximately 20 % of the participants never used a condom during the preceding 12 months. Most of the participants said that reason for their use or non-use was based on partner evaluation. However, our participants indicate that there often is a deeper reason why they do not use condoms. Women talk about their male partner’s resistance against condom use. Men in the other hand mention the problem with fit and feel especially problems related to erection problems when they have been drinking alcohol. One of the most interesting findings is that the participants’ view of sex affected their condom use. Those with a relaxed view (e.g., did not connect love with sex and had had more sexual partners during the past 12 months) had fewer occasions of unprotected vaginal intercourse compared with the participants with a traditional view (e.g., often associated sex with vaginal penetration).The most important thing we need to do is increase ’men’s sense of responsibility and involve them in the prevention work. It is also important that the condom counseling is individualized. It is not enough to simply speak about condom use in general; instead we need to relate condom use to sexual practice and partner type but also to the individuals’ specific condom problem.