Violating Trust? Barriers to Condom Use among Male Adolescents in Steady Relationships in Recife, Brazil

Fatima Juarez, El Colegio de México
Teresa Castro Martin, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

The study aims at providing insights into adolescents’ conceptualization of trusted relationships as well as how trust affects HIV risk perception and contraceptive decision-making. Both quantitative and qualitative data are used. The quantitative data were collected in a specially designed survey carried out in May 2000 on 1,438 male adolescents aged 13-19 residing in favelas of Recife, Brazil. The analysis shows that the degree of commitment to the relationship affects the rationale and dynamics of contraceptive decision-making. Male adolescents in steady relationships are less likely to use condoms, less likely to regard themselves at risk of HIV infection, more concerned about pregnancy prevention than HIV prevention, and more likely to substitute condoms by other contraceptive methods than adolescents in casual relationships. Because of the symbolic association of condoms with promiscuity and disease, many adolescents felt that they could not use condoms with their trusted partner without jeopardizing their relationship.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Children and Youth, Adolescence, Parenting, Transition to Adulthood, Life Course