Sexual behavior and condom use among urban, low-income, African-American and Hispanic youth

K. Ford, S. Rubinstein, A. Norris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Low-income, urban, African-American, and Hispanic youth have been identified as a group for which there is concern about the spread of HIV. Using data from a household probability sample of 1,435 minority youth aged 15 to 24 in Detroit, this paper evaluates levels of sexual activity, condom use, and reasons for condom use and non-use. Comparisons with national samples of minority youth indicated that Detroit low-income youth have similar patterns of sexual behavior to national samples, although males and African-American females began their sexual experiences earlier and were less likely to have used condoms or other protection from pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) at first intercourse. Recent levels of condom use also left many Detroit youth unprotected from STDs. Less than half used a condom at last intercourse in the last year with nonmarital partners that they 'knew well.' In addition, condom use with partners that they 'did not know well' was very low for Hispanic youth: Among those who had at least one casual partner in the last year, only 30% to 33% had ever used a condom with that partner. Analysis of reasons for use indicate that both pregnancy prevention and disease prevention were important motivations for condom use. However, many youth did not use condoms for reasons such as unavailability of condoms or unplanned sex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-229
Number of pages11
JournalAIDS Education and Prevention
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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