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Condom use amongst men and women attending a genitourinary medicine clinic
  1. Pauline Handy, RGN, BA, Clinical Nurse Specialist
  1. Department of Genitourinary Medicine, Newcastle General Hospital, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
  1. Correspondence Mrs Pauline Handy, Department of Genitourinary Medicine, Newcastle General Hospital, Westgate Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE4 6BE, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 191 219 5011. E-mail: Pauline.Handy{at}


Objectives To assess the numbers of patients attending a large genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic using condoms to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and to assess how many patients experienced problems with their use. To elicit whether patients had received any training in the use of condoms.

Design Patient questionnaire.

Participants 300 male and 300 female adult attenders at a GUM clinic.

Methods Participants were randomly selected from those attending and asked to complete an anonymous questionnaire, which was placed in a sealed box in the consulting room.

Results Condom use is erratic, with most responders indicating that they only sometimes use condoms. More female than male patients report condom accidents. Male participants were less likely to recall being given any training in condom use at school than women. Women attending family planning clinics for condoms were unlikely to be offered training in their use.

Conclusions The majority of participants continue to place themselves at risk of STIs through inconsistent use of condoms or condom accidents. More emphasis should be placed on formal education in the use of condoms both at school and health clinics where patients are likely to obtain supplies of condoms.

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