Safer sex and condom use: Findings from the Second Australian Study of Health and Relationships

Richard O. De Visser, Paul B. Badcock, Chris Rissel, Juliet Richters, Anthony M.A. Smith, Andrew E. Grulich, Judy M. Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Background: It is important to have current and reliable estimates of the frequency and correlates of condom use among Australian adults. Methods: A representative sample of 20 094 men and women aged 16-69 years, from all states and territories, completed computer-assisted telephone interviews. The overall participation rate among eligible people was 66.2%. Results : Although most respondents had used a condom at some time in their lives, fewer than half of those who were sexually active in the year before being interviewed had used a condom in that year. Condom use in the last year was associated with youth, speaking a language other than English at home, bisexual identity, greater education, residence in major cities, lower income and having multiple sexual partners in the last year. One-quarter of respondents used a condom the last time they had vaginal intercourse and one-sixth of these were put on after genital contact. Condom use during most recent vaginal sex was associated with youth, lower income, having sex with a non-regular partner and not using another form of contraception. Condom use appears to have increased between 2001-02 and 2012-13. Conclusion: Consistent with other research, this study showed that condom use was strongly associated with partner type and use of other contraception. There may be a need to highlight among people with multiple sexual partners the fact that non-barrier methods of contraception do not offer protection against sexually transmissible infections. The finding that many condoms were applied after genital contact suggests a need to promote both use and correct use of condoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-504
Number of pages10
JournalSexual Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Contraception
  • Cross-sectional studies
  • Health surveys
  • HIV prevention
  • National survey
  • Sexual behaviour
  • STI prevention


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