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Most Single Adults Not Using Condoms
Date:11/11/2008

British study finds less than half of people in 30s, 40s use them when with a new partner

TUESDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Six out of every 10 middle-aged Britons do not use a condom during a first-time sexual encounter, a new study shows.

Those numbers might be similar for Americans, one expert said. "Data in the U.S. are likely comparable and, given prevailing policies with regard to contraception, may be worse," said Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn.

In fact, U.S. rates of all STDs, including HIV, have been increasing with an estimated 19 million new cases each year and more than 1 million people living with HIV. Almost half of the new cases of STDs are among people 15 to 24, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But older adults are at risk, too. "Often it's assumed that sexually transmitted infections are just increasing among young people, but U.K. surveillance data shows that sexually transmitted infection diagnosis rates are on the increase among all age groups in the U.K.," said Catherine Mercer, the study's lead researcher and a lecturer at the Centre for Sexual Health & HIV Research at University College London.

Most Britons engaging in unprotected sex are in their 30s and 40s and in relationships where there is an age difference of five or more years, according to the report, which was published in the Nov. 12 online edition of the International Journal of Epidemiology.

"Low rates of condom use among those starting partnerships in their 30s and 40s means that they too are at great risk of sexual infections," Mercer said.

For the study, Mercer's group collected data on more than 11,000 men and women who participated in the second British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles. The survey included questions on recent partnerships, cond
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