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Ditty bag of condoms, home-use instructions lead to improved comfort and consistency with condom use
Date:11/5/2013

BOSTON -- A new and successful strategy for combating the spread of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV draws from an old idea: Practice is fundamental to learning, even when it involves using condoms correctly.

The Kinsey Institute Homework Intervention Strategy gives men a "ditty bag" full of condoms and lubricants, makes sure the men understand how to apply condoms correctly, and then assigns homework. The men are expected to try out at least six condoms solo, paying particular attention to their own pleasure and which condoms they like best.

"It's such a simple idea, but nobody has every structured an approach like this," said William L. Yarber, professor in the Indiana University School of Public-Health-Bloomington. Yarber is co-author of the study, "A novel, self-guided, home-based intervention to improve condom use among young men who have sex with men," which will be discussed Nov. 6 at the American Public Health Association's annual meeting. "These are pilot studies. But even with small samples, the results are really good. Men become more motivated to use condoms; they use them more correctly and consistently. They also appreciate learning that there are different condoms available."

The first pilot study, published in the Journal of Men's Health in 2011, focused on heterosexual men. The APHA study, which will be published in the Journal of American College Health, focuses on young men who have sex with men, or MSM. This is an important group of men to reach, said Roberta Emetu, who coordinated the research project. MSM ages 18 to 29 are disproportionately diagnosed with HIV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The men who experienced this intervention became better in their condom use," said Emetu, a doctoral student at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. "They not only used them more often but used them correctly. We saw an increase in motivation to use them."'/>"/>

Contact: William Yarber
yarber@indiana.edu
812-855-7974
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert

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