Objectives: To evaluate the association between self-reported condom use and prevalent and incident chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis.
Study Design: Prospective study of 414 males attending a sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinic in Jamaica. Condom use and STI status were assessed at enrollment and at 4 follow-up visits.
Results: The analyses on condom use and prevalent STI included data from 414 men, while those on incident STI were based on 1111 intervals from 355 men. We diagnosed prevalent STI (chlamydia, gonorrhea, and/or trichomoniasis) in 54.6% (n = 226) of the participants at enrollment. About 14% (n = 51) of participants had at least 1 of the study STIs during follow-up. Follow-up visits in which participants reported consistent condom use (100% of acts) for the past 7 days had less incident STI (adjusted OR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2–0.9) compared with visits where no condom use was reported. Self-reported condom use was more closely correlated with incident than prevalent STI. For example, the adjusted OR for prevalent infection for participants reporting consistent versus no condom use in past 7 days was 0.7 (95% CI, 0.4–1.2). Classifications based on the number of unprotected acts yielded findings similar to those based on the proportion of acts protected.
Conclusions: Consistent condom use was associated with reduced risk of incident urethral STI. Research on condom effectiveness should focus on incident STI outcomes, where the temporal relationship between condom use and infection is clearer.