Introduction: In Israel, as in other industrialized countries, the age of sexual debut among adolescents has declined, and the rate of sexually transmitted infections (STI) has risen, but the motivations and attitudes of Israeli adolescents toward carrying condoms have yet to be studied. Aims: The aims of this study were to establish the associations (if any) between demographic characteristics and the knowledge held by Jewish Israeli adolescents about HIV transmission, their attitudes toward condom use and sexual experience, and to explore their recommendations to increase condom use. Methods: The method used was an analysis of sexual experience and practices, attitudes toward condom carrying and condom use among a national representative sample of Jewish adolescents aged 15-18. Main Outcome Measures: Two dichotomized measures were assessed: (i) sexual experience (defined as having had previous consensual oral/vaginal/anal sex); and (ii) the practice of carrying a condom on a regular basis. Results: Of all 410 participants, 14.6% carried condoms, 18.3% had sexual experience, and 70.7% of those used condoms. Those who thought condoms to be protective against HIV, and those who thought they are difficult to wear, were more likely to have sexual experience. The perception of condom use as important, and the perception that condoms are difficult to wear, were predictors of condom carrying. The participants' knowledge of the risk of HIV in vaginal intercourse was deficient. Participants did not consider school sex education to be effective in promoting condom use, and recommended the use of graphic, deterrent personal accounts told by youths to encourage wider use of condoms. Conclusions: Health educators should consider the barriers cited by adolescents and the deterrent techniques they recommend when planning interventions to encourage condom use. Shilo G and Mor Z. Sexual activity and condom use among Israeli adolescents.
- Condom Use