Use of Condoms by Ugandan Couples in Stable Relationships
Nancy Williamson, Family Health International
Kerry McLoughlin, Family Health International
Jennifer Liku, Family Health International
Condom use among stable couples in developing countries is low. Yet, the concern about getting infected with HIV is real, given that some partners have other partners. This qualitative study focuses on couples in stable relationships in Uganda who managed to use condoms, either consistently or inconsistently. Research methods included in-depth interviews with 39 couples using condoms consistently, 10 couples using them inconsistently and four focus groups. In this study, female partners more often took the initiative to introduce condoms. Women used different strategies to initiate use and had to overcome fear of a negative reaction. Fortunately, men’s reactions were more positive than the women expected. Although condom use is a couple behavior, a supportive environment (health care providers, media, availability of condoms, HIV testing) is also crucial.