Sexual behaviors and condom use in the Brazilian population: analysis of the National Health Survey, 2019

Mariana Santos Felisbino-Mendes Fernanda Gontijo Araújo Laís Vanessa Assunção Oliveira Nádia Machado de Vasconcelos Maria Lúcia França Pontes Vieira Deborah Carvalho Malta About the authors

ABSTRACT

Objective:

The objective of this research was to describe the sexual behaviors and condom use in the Brazilian population.

Methods:

This is a cross-sectional, descriptive study, which used data from 88,531 individuals aged 18 years old or older, who answered the second edition of the National Health Survey carried out in 2019. Prevalence was estimated with the respective 95% confidence intervals for each sexual behavior indicator and condom use according to gender, age, race/skin color, educational level, and region of residence.

Results:

The majority of the Brazilian population has had sexual intercourse at some point in their lives (93.9%). Mean age of initiation was 17.3 years. Prevalence of consistent condom use was only 22.8%, being even lower among women (20.9%). Moreover, 59% of the population reported not having used a condom in the past 12 months, the main reason being trusting their partner (73.4%). The use of health services to obtain condoms was only 10.7%. It was observed that women, individuals with a higher age group, less education, and income had worse results in relation to the analyzed indicators, in addition to regional disparities.

Conclusion:

Low prevalence of condom use was observed in the Brazilian population. In addition, important socioeconomic and demographic disparities were observed, pointing out the need to revisit, strengthen and expand public policies in the sexual and reproductive health field in order to prevent risky sexual behaviors and promote condom use, including double protection.

Keywords:
Condoms; Sexual behavior; Sexual and reproductive health; Sexually transmitted diseases; Disease prevention; Health surveys

RESUMO:

Objetivo:

O objetivo desta pesquisa foi descrever os comportamentos relacionados à atividade sexual e ao uso de preservativos na população brasileira.

Métodos:

Trata-se de estudo transversal, descritivo, que utilizou dados de 88.531 indivíduos com 18 anos ou mais que responderam à segunda edição da Pesquisa Nacional de Saúde realizada em 2019. Foram estimadas as prevalências, com os respectivos intervalos de 95% de confiança, para cada indicador relativo ao comportamento sexual e ao uso de preservativos de acordo com sexo, idade, raça/cor, nível de escolaridade e região de moradia.

Resultados:

A maioria da população brasileira já teve relação sexual alguma vez na vida (93,9%), e a idade média de iniciação foi de 17,3 anos. A prevalência do uso consistente de preservativos foi de apenas 22,8% e ainda menor entre as mulheres (20,9%). Ainda, 59% da população referiu não ter usado preservativo nenhuma vez nos últimos 12 meses, sendo o principal motivo do não uso confiar no parceiro (73,4%). O uso dos serviços de saúde para obter preservativos foi de apenas 10,7%. Observou-se que mulheres, indivíduos com faixa etária maior, com menor escolaridade e renda apresentaram piores resultados em relação aos indicadores analisados, além das disparidades regionais.

Conclusão:

Observou-se baixa prevalência do uso de preservativos na população brasileira, além de importantes disparidades socioeconômicas e demográficas, o que aponta a necessidade de revisitar, fortalecer e ampliar as políticas públicas no campo da saúde sexual e reprodutiva com vistas à prevenção de comportamentos sexuais de risco e à promoção abrangente do uso do preservativo, incluindo a dupla proteção.

Palavras-chave:
Preservativos; Comportamento sexual; Saúde sexual e reprodutiva; Infecções sexualmente transmissíveis; Prevenção de doenças; Inquéritos epidemiológicos

INTRODUCTION

Brazil has remaining challenges in the field of sexual and reproductive health, such as syphilis, the cesarean rate, prematurity, and neonatal mortality11. Leal MC, Szwarcwald CL, Almeida PVB, Aquino EML, Barreto ML, Barros F, et al. Saúde reprodutiva, materna, neonatal e infantil nos 30 anos do Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS). Ciênc Saude Colet 2018; 23 (6): 1915-28. https://doi.org/10.1590/1413-81232018236.03942018
https://doi.org/10.1590/1413-81232018236...
. In addition, despite the increased access to contraception in the country11. Leal MC, Szwarcwald CL, Almeida PVB, Aquino EML, Barreto ML, Barros F, et al. Saúde reprodutiva, materna, neonatal e infantil nos 30 anos do Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS). Ciênc Saude Colet 2018; 23 (6): 1915-28. https://doi.org/10.1590/1413-81232018236.03942018
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33. Trindade RE, Siqueira BB, Paula TF, Felisbino-Mendes MS. Contraception use and family planning inequalities of Brazilian women. Cien Saude Colet 2019; 26 (2 Suppl. 2). https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6854-1255
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, several studies have shown that unplanned pregnancy rates exceed 50%44. Viellas EF, Domingues RMSM, Dias MAB, Gama SGN, Theme Filha MM, Costa JV, et al. Assistência pré-natal no Brasil. Cad Saúde Pública 2014; 30(Suppl 1): S85-100. https://doi.org/10.1590/0102-311X00126013
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,55. Theme-Filha MM, Baldisserotto ML, Fraga AC, Ayers S, Gama SG, Leal MD. Factors associated with unintended pregnancy in Brazil: cross-sectional results from the Birth in Brazil National Survey, 2011/2012. Reprod Health 2016; 13 (Suppl 3):https://doi.org/10.1186/s12978-016-0227-8
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, and that it remains an obsolete contraceptive mix when compared to developed countries22. Cavenaghi S, Alves JED. O mix contraceptivo eternamente obsoleto no Brasil e seu legado. Rev Bras Estud Popul 2019; 36: 1-29. https://doi.org/10.20947/S0103-3098a0103
https://doi.org/10.20947/S0103-3098a0103...
, revealing problems in quality of access and assistance in reproductive planning. Other important public health problems to be faced in this field are the increase66. Borges ALV, Chofakian CBN, Sato APS, Fujimori E, Duarte LS, Gomes MN. Fertility rates among very young adolescent women: temporal and spatial trends in Brazil. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2016; 16: 57. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-016-0843-x
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-016-0843-...
and maintenance77. Bicalho MLC, Araújo FG, Martins EF, Andrade GN, Felisbino-Mendes MS. Tendência das taxas de fertilidade, proporção de consultas pré-natal e cesarianas entre adolescentes brasileiras. Rev Bras Enferm 2021; 74 (Suppl 4). https://doi.org/10.1590/0034-7167-2020-0884
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of teenage pregnancy rates.

Added to all this are the growing rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which are increasingly occurring in the younger population, especially the human immunodeficiency virus — HIV/AIDS. Comparing AIDS detection rates between 2008 and 2018, there was an increase in young male populations between 15 and 19 years of age, which went from 3.7 to 6.0/100 thousand inhabitants; between 20 and 24 years from 18.4 to 35.8 /100 thousand inhabitants; and between 25 and 29 years from 41 to 50.9/100 thousand inhabitants88. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Boletim Epidemiológico HIV/AIDS. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde. 2020. [cited on May 31, 2021]. Available at:http://www.aids.gov.br/pt-br/pub/2020/boletim-epidemiologico-hivaids-2020
http://www.aids.gov.br/pt-br/pub/2020/bo...
. Another example is the growing increase in syphilis detection rates in pregnant women and acquired syphilis99. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Secretaria de Vigilância em Saúde. Departamento de Doenças de Condições Crônicas e Infecções Sexualmente Transmissíveis. Sífilis 2019. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde; 2019 [cited on May 31, 2021]. Available at:http://www.aids.gov.br/pt-br/pub/2019/boletim-epidemiologico-sifilis-2019
http://www.aids.gov.br/pt-br/pub/2019/bo...
,1010. Miranda AE, Freitas FLS, Passos MRL, Lopez MAA, Pereira GFM. Políticas públicas em infecções sexualmente transmissíveis no Brasil. Epidemiol Serv Saúde 2021; 30 (spe1): e2020611. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1679-4974202100019.esp1
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, which can be a sentinel event for the high rates of disease circulation in the general population. The same has been observed for other diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhea1010. Miranda AE, Freitas FLS, Passos MRL, Lopez MAA, Pereira GFM. Políticas públicas em infecções sexualmente transmissíveis no Brasil. Epidemiol Serv Saúde 2021; 30 (spe1): e2020611. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1679-4974202100019.esp1
https://doi.org/10.1590/S1679-4974202100...
.

Population surveys about sexual and reproductive health in the country took place every decade and mainly monitored maternal and child health and also women’s health from different perspectives. This trend was interrupted, and the last survey was carried out in 2006. Regarding epidemiological surveillance and monitoring of STIs, in addition to the Information System for Notifiable Diseases (Sistema de Informação de Agravos de Notificação – SINAN), specific surveys on sexual behavior were conducted in the country in 1998, 2005, 2008, and 2013, which included representative samples of the Brazilian population aged 15–65 years old1111. Dourado I, MacCarthy S, Reddy A, Calazans G, Gruskin S. Revisitando o uso do preservativo no Brasil. Rev Bras Epidemiol 2015; (Suppl 1): 63-88. https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-4503201500050006
https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-45032015000...
.

In general, these studies1111. Dourado I, MacCarthy S, Reddy A, Calazans G, Gruskin S. Revisitando o uso do preservativo no Brasil. Rev Bras Epidemiol 2015; (Suppl 1): 63-88. https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-4503201500050006
https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-45032015000...
showed a low prevalence of condom use, in addition to a reduction in their use in stable relationships, socioeconomic inequalities, and gender inequalities, but there are few studies that cover the entire Brazilian population1111. Dourado I, MacCarthy S, Reddy A, Calazans G, Gruskin S. Revisitando o uso do preservativo no Brasil. Rev Bras Epidemiol 2015; (Suppl 1): 63-88. https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-4503201500050006
https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-45032015000...
1414. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Secretaria de Vigilância em Saúde. Departamento de DST, Aids e Hepatites Virais. Pesquisa de Conhecimentos, Atitudes e Práticas na População Brasileira. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde; 2016. [cited on May 31, 2021]. Available at:http://www.aids.gov.br/pt-br/pub/2016/pesquisa-de-conhecimentos-atitudes-e-praticas-na-populacao-brasileira-pcap-2013
http://www.aids.gov.br/pt-br/pub/2016/pe...
. There is a greater number of studies in specific groups, such as adolescents, young people, women of reproductive age, individuals with HIV/AIDS, men who have sex with men, drug users, and sex workers1111. Dourado I, MacCarthy S, Reddy A, Calazans G, Gruskin S. Revisitando o uso do preservativo no Brasil. Rev Bras Epidemiol 2015; (Suppl 1): 63-88. https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-4503201500050006
https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-45032015000...
,1515. Pinheiro TF, Calazans GJ, Ayres JRCM. Uso de Camisinha no Brasil: um olhar sobre a produção acadêmica acerca da prevenção de HIV/Aids (2007–2011). Temas Psicol 2013; 21 (3): 815-36. http://doi.org/10.9788/TP2013.3-EE07PT
http://doi.org/10.9788/TP2013.3-EE07PT...
, which limits the orientation of health policies to contemplate the promotion of condom use in the general population.

In 2013, as part of the monitoring and surveillance of chronic non-communicable conditions in the Brazilian population, the National Health Survey (Pesquisa Nacional de Saúde – PNS) addressed some specific questions about women’s sexual and reproductive health. In an unprecedented way, it included in its new edition, in 2019, the specific objective of “estimating the prevalence of some communicable diseases and behaviors related to sexual activity and the use of condoms”1616. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Pesquisa Nacional de Saúde 2019: Acidentes, violências, doenças transmissíveis, atividade sexual, características do trabalho e apoio social. Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística; 2021. Available at:https://biblioteca.ibge.gov.br/index.php/biblioteca-catalogo?view=detalhes&id=2101800
https://biblioteca.ibge.gov.br/index.php...
.

Thus, the objective of this research was to describe behaviors related to sexual activity and condom use in the Brazilian population, according to socioeconomic and demographic characteristics.

METHODS

This is a cross-sectional, descriptive study that used data from the PNS 2019. The PNS sample was selected by clusters in three stages. In the first, the primary sampling units (PSU) were selected, in the second, the households, and finally, the residents aged 15 years old and older, all by simple random sampling. The minimum size defined for the sample was 108,525 households and data were collected from 94,114 households. Only individuals aged 18 years old or older answered the “Sexual Activity” questionnaire, totaling 88,531 adults1616. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Pesquisa Nacional de Saúde 2019: Acidentes, violências, doenças transmissíveis, atividade sexual, características do trabalho e apoio social. Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística; 2021. Available at:https://biblioteca.ibge.gov.br/index.php/biblioteca-catalogo?view=detalhes&id=2101800
https://biblioteca.ibge.gov.br/index.php...
.

In the present study, the information from “Module Y – Sexual Activity” of the questionnaire was analyzed, with the following indicators: having had sexual intercourse at some point in life; average age of sexual initiation; condom use in all sexual relations in the last 12 months; reason for not having used a condom in the last sexual intercourse; and use of the health service to obtain a condom in the last 12 months.

The socioeconomic and demographic variables used were: gender (male and female); age (18–29 years, 30–39 years, 40–59 years, and 60 years old or older); education level (no education and incomplete elementary/middle school, complete middle school and incomplete high school, complete high school and incomplete higher education and complete higher education); race/skin color (white, black, and brown); household income per capita in minimum wages (no income up to ¼, ¼–½, ½–1, 1–2, 2–3, 3–4, and more than 5); and finally the housing regions (North, Northeast, Southeast, South, and Midwest). It is noteworthy that due to the small number of observations and high coefficient of variation, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística – IBGE) does not release data on yellow and indigenous races/skin colors separately, although they are contained in the total numbers.

For data analysis, prevalence and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were estimated for each indicator related to sexual behavior and condom use. These same estimates were made according to socioeconomic and demographic variables. Analyzes were performed using the Stata 14.0 statistical software, considering the effect of the sampling plan, non-response rates, and post-stratification weights.

The PNS was approved by the National Research Ethics Committee of the National Health Council under opinion No. 3.529.376 on August 23rd, 2019. Participation in the research was voluntary, the confidentiality of information was guaranteed, and all participants signed the informed consent1717. Stopa SR, Szwarcwald CL, Oliveira MM, Gouvea ECDP, Vieira MLFP, Freitas MPS, et al. Pesquisa Nacional de Saúde 2019: histórico, métodos e perspectivas. Epidemiol Serv Saude 2020; 29 (5): e2020315. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1679-49742020000500004
https://doi.org/10.1590/S1679-4974202000...
.

RESULTS

Table 1 shows that 93.9% of the Brazilian population reported sexual intercourse at some point in their lives, with the highest prevalence among men (94.8%) and in the South region (95.3%). The analysis of this indicator according to gender showed that men from the North (94.4%) and Northeast (94.7%) regions had a higher prevalence than women (92.2 and 92.3%, respectively) (data not shown). It was observed that the prevalence of sexual intercourse at some point in life was lower among individuals aged 18–29 years (88.3%) (Table 1).

Table 1.
Prevalence and 95% confidence intervals of sexual behavior and condom use in the Brazilian adult population in the last 12 months, according to sociodemographic variables — National Health Survey, 2019.

The average age of sexual initiation in the Brazilian population aged 18 years old or older was 17.3 years, and the average age at first sexual intercourse was lower among men (16.4 years) (Table 1), observing maintenance of this pattern for all regions (data not shown). Furthermore, it was observed that the average age of sexual initiation was higher in older age groups. Individuals from the North region had lower mean age at first sexual intercourse (16.4 years) (Table 1), both for men (15.7 years) and for women (17.0 years) (data not shown). The population in the Southeast region had the highest average age (17.6 years) (Table 1). Also in this region, women had a higher mean age at first sexual intercourse (18.5 years) compared to others (data not shown). It was observed that the higher the level of education (18.3 years) and income (18.1 years), the higher the average age at first sexual intercourse among Brazilians (Table 2). In addition, white people (17.7 years) also had a higher mean age of sexual initiation (Table 1).

Table 2.
Prevalence and 95% confidence intervals of sexual behavior and condom use in the Brazilian adult population in the last 12 months, according to education and household income — National Health Survey, 2019.

Assessing the use of condoms in all sexual relations in the 12 months prior to the interview, the prevalence for the Brazilian population was 22.8% and higher among men (24.4%) than among women (20.9 %) (Table 1). This pattern was maintained among individuals from the North, Northeast, and Southeast regions (Figure 1A/Supplement 1). Regarding the results by Federal Units (FU), only in Acre, Amapá, and Rio de Janeiro the prevalence was higher among women. Still in Figure 1A/Supplement 1, the prevalence of condom use in all sexual relations ranged from 20.3% in the South region to 28% in the North region. Regarding the age group, there was a higher prevalence of use in the 18–29 age group (36.5%) and a lower prevalence in the more advanced age groups, with 11.6% in the population over 60 years of age. A lower prevalence was also observed among people with education up to complete middle school (17.2%) (Table 2), as well as among those who declared themselves white (21.6%) (Table 1).

Figure 1.
Prevalence of condom use by the adult Brazilian population in all sexual relations: (A) use of public health services to obtain condoms; (B) by Federal Unit and gender – PNS, 2019.

Regarding condom use, most of the Brazilian population reported not having used it at all (59%) in their sexual relations in the last 12 months, with this prevalence being higher for women (60.5%) and lower for the age group aged 18–29 years (34.2%) (Table 3).

Table 3.
Prevalence and 95% confidence interval of frequency of condom use in sexual intercourse in the last 12 months, by gender and age — National Health Survey, 2019.

The main reason reported for not using a condom in the last sexual intercourse was trusting the partner (73.4%), with a higher prevalence among men (78.6%), followed by the use of another method to avoid pregnancy (12.3%), the most frequent answer among women (16.8%), and for not liking to use condoms (8.4%), with a higher prevalence among men (9.8%) (Table 4).

Table 4.
Prevalence and 95% confidence interval of reasons for not using a condom in the last sexual intercourse, by gender — National Health Survey, 2019.

Only 10.7% of the population uses public health services to obtain condoms. This prevalence was higher among men (13.2%) (Table 1) and in the North (14.1%), a pattern observed in all FUs (Figure 1B/Supplement 1). It was observed that the population aged 18–39 (15.8%), with secondary education (elementary/middle school to incomplete higher education) (14.6%), black (12.7%), and with lower income (16, 7%), is the one that most uses the public health service to obtain condoms (Tables 1 and 2).

DISCUSSION

The results show that only one in five Brazilians used a condom in all sexual relations, while more than half of the population with a sexual life did not use a condom in any relation in the 12 months prior to the survey. The increasingly precocious sexual initiation is also highlighted, as well as the fact that only one in ten Brazilians used public health services to purchase condoms, which may elucidate the need to revisit, strengthen, and expand policies of sexual and reproductive health in Brazil. In addition, important regional, gender, sociodemographic, and economic disparities were observed in relation to the analyzed indicators, which allowed us to identify which groups with greater social vulnerability are at greater risk of STIs and unplanned pregnancies.

It is known that the use of condoms plays a crucial role in reducing the incidence of STIs, HIV/AIDS, morbidity, mortality, and unintended pregnancies1818. Paiva V, Venturi G, França-Junior I, Lopes F. Uso de preservativos: pesquisa nacional MS/IBOPE, Brasil 2003. 2003 [cited on May 24, 2021]. Available at:http://www.usp.br/nepaidsabia/images/BIBLIOTECA/_MIGRAR/artigo_preservativo.pdf
http://www.usp.br/nepaidsabia/images/BIB...
,1919. Evans WD, Ulasevich A, Hatheway M, Deperthes B. Systematic review of peer-reviewed literature on global condom promotion programs. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020; 17 (7): 2262. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072262
https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072262...
. In addition, they are of low cost, easy to use and store, do not require prescriptions from professionals or direct provision of health services, and can be used by anyone1919. Evans WD, Ulasevich A, Hatheway M, Deperthes B. Systematic review of peer-reviewed literature on global condom promotion programs. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020; 17 (7): 2262. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072262
https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072262...
. In Brazil, in the 1980s, at the beginning of the HIV epidemic, condoms were only distributed on specific dates, such as Carnival and the “World Day to Fight Aids”, or through research projects, but in 1994 their distribution became wider and systematic by the Unified Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde – SUS)1111. Dourado I, MacCarthy S, Reddy A, Calazans G, Gruskin S. Revisitando o uso do preservativo no Brasil. Rev Bras Epidemiol 2015; (Suppl 1): 63-88. https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-4503201500050006
https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-45032015000...
, which facilitated the population’s access to this resource.

A study that evaluated the trend of condom use in the Brazilian population between 1998 and 2005 showed an increase in condom use in the 12 months prior to the interview, reaching 28.1% in 2005 in the last sexual intercourse1212. Berquó E, Barbosa RM, Lima LP. Trends in condom use: Brazil 1998 and 2005. Rev Saude Publica 2008; 42 (Suppl 1): 34-44. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102008000800006
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-8910200800...
. However, in 2008, the survey called “Survey on Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices in the Brazilian Population” (Pesquisa de Conhecimentos, Atitudes e Práticas na População Brasileira) showed a prevalence of 25.5% of condom use in all sexual relations1313. Pascom ARP, Szwarcwald CL. Sex inequalities in HIV-related practices in the Brazilian population aged 15 to 64 years old, 2008. Cad Saude Publica 2011; 27 (Suppl 1): s27-35.. The same survey, in 2013, showed a prevalence of 23.5% of consistent condom use, with a reduction compared to previous research1212. Berquó E, Barbosa RM, Lima LP. Trends in condom use: Brazil 1998 and 2005. Rev Saude Publica 2008; 42 (Suppl 1): 34-44. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102008000800006
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-8910200800...
,1414. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Secretaria de Vigilância em Saúde. Departamento de DST, Aids e Hepatites Virais. Pesquisa de Conhecimentos, Atitudes e Práticas na População Brasileira. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde; 2016. [cited on May 31, 2021]. Available at:http://www.aids.gov.br/pt-br/pub/2016/pesquisa-de-conhecimentos-atitudes-e-praticas-na-populacao-brasileira-pcap-2013
http://www.aids.gov.br/pt-br/pub/2016/pe...
, corroborating the findings of the present study, which demonstrate the maintenance of this prevalence at low levels.

In this context, it is noteworthy that, although Brazil is internationally recognized as a model in the management of STIs, especially HIV/AIDS, high rates of infection have still been recorded2020. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Secretaria de Vigilância em Saúde – Departamento de DST. Aids e Hepatites Virais. Boletim Epidemiológico HIV/Aids. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde; 2019. [cited on May 31, 2021]. Available at:http://www.aids.gov.br/pt-br/pub/2019/boletim-epidemiologico-de-hivaids-2019
http://www.aids.gov.br/pt-br/pub/2019/bo...
. Between 2008 and 2018, there was an increase of more than 62% in the AIDS detection rate among young people aged 15–24 years, and in 2018 the highest detection rate was 50.9 cases/100,000 inhabitants in young males, in the age group of 25–29 years99. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Secretaria de Vigilância em Saúde. Departamento de Doenças de Condições Crônicas e Infecções Sexualmente Transmissíveis. Sífilis 2019. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde; 2019 [cited on May 31, 2021]. Available at:http://www.aids.gov.br/pt-br/pub/2019/boletim-epidemiologico-sifilis-2019
http://www.aids.gov.br/pt-br/pub/2019/bo...
. The increased incidence of other STIs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, is also noteworthy1010. Miranda AE, Freitas FLS, Passos MRL, Lopez MAA, Pereira GFM. Políticas públicas em infecções sexualmente transmissíveis no Brasil. Epidemiol Serv Saúde 2021; 30 (spe1): e2020611. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1679-4974202100019.esp1
https://doi.org/10.1590/S1679-4974202100...
. A study that evaluated the trend of syphilis cases in the country between 2007 and 2017 showed a substantial increase in acquired syphilis (12.3 cases/100,000 to 81.4), syphilis in pregnant women (2.2 cases/1,000 live births to 16.9), and congenital syphilis (2.2 cases/thousand born children to 8.8), representing a crude growth rate of 561, 660, and 338%, respectively2121. Santos MM, Lopes AKB, Roncalli AG, Lima KC. Trends of syphilis in Brazil: a growth portrait of the treponemic epidemic. PLoS One 2020; 15 (4): e0231029. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0231029
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.023...
. Therefore, this increase of STIs in the country may be a reflection of the low prevalence of condom use, as verified in this study.

Globally, consistent condom use rates range from 4 to 52.4% among young and sexually active individuals2222. Ajayi AI, Ismail KO, Akpan W. Factors associated with consistent condom use: a cross-sectional survey of two Nigerian universities. BMC Public Health 2019; 19 (1): 1207. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7543-1
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7543-...
, and among women of reproductive age this prevalence was 51.2%, ranging from 2.7% in Nigeria to 89% in Greece2323. Wang MY, Temmerman M, Zhang WH, Fan Y, Mu Y, Mo SP, et al. Contraceptive and reproductive health practices of unmarried women globally, 1999 to 2018: systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore) 2020; 99 (49): e23368. http://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000023368
http://doi.org/10.1097/MD.00000000000233...
. Furthermore, a study that evaluated the impact of condom use in reducing unplanned pregnancies and STIs in 83 countries identified a difference between current and desired use of 10.9 billion condoms; if this demand were met by 2030, these countries could avoid 240 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)2424. Stover J, Rosen JE, Carvalho MN, Korenromp EL, Friedman HS, Cogan M, et al. The case for investing in the male condom. PLoS One 2017; 12 (5): e0177108. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0177108
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.017...
, thus highlighting the long-term consequences for sexual and reproductive health, particularly for the younger population.

The reasons for inconsistent condom use are known to include: the idea that condoms reduce sexual pleasure1111. Dourado I, MacCarthy S, Reddy A, Calazans G, Gruskin S. Revisitando o uso do preservativo no Brasil. Rev Bras Epidemiol 2015; (Suppl 1): 63-88. https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-4503201500050006
https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-45032015000...
,2222. Ajayi AI, Ismail KO, Akpan W. Factors associated with consistent condom use: a cross-sectional survey of two Nigerian universities. BMC Public Health 2019; 19 (1): 1207. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7543-1
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7543-...
,2525. Bryan AEB, Norris J, Abdallah DA, Zawacki T, Morrison DM, George WH, et al. Conflito de insistência de preservativos em encontros sexuais envolvendo álcool feminino com um novo parceiro masculino. Psychol Women Q 2017; 41 (1): 100-13. https://doi.org/10.1177/0361684316668301
https://doi.org/10.1177/0361684316668301...
; personal perception of low risk of contracting STIs1111. Dourado I, MacCarthy S, Reddy A, Calazans G, Gruskin S. Revisitando o uso do preservativo no Brasil. Rev Bras Epidemiol 2015; (Suppl 1): 63-88. https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-4503201500050006
https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-45032015000...
,2222. Ajayi AI, Ismail KO, Akpan W. Factors associated with consistent condom use: a cross-sectional survey of two Nigerian universities. BMC Public Health 2019; 19 (1): 1207. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7543-1
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7543-...
,2525. Bryan AEB, Norris J, Abdallah DA, Zawacki T, Morrison DM, George WH, et al. Conflito de insistência de preservativos em encontros sexuais envolvendo álcool feminino com um novo parceiro masculino. Psychol Women Q 2017; 41 (1): 100-13. https://doi.org/10.1177/0361684316668301
https://doi.org/10.1177/0361684316668301...
; misconceptions about condom use1111. Dourado I, MacCarthy S, Reddy A, Calazans G, Gruskin S. Revisitando o uso do preservativo no Brasil. Rev Bras Epidemiol 2015; (Suppl 1): 63-88. https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-4503201500050006
https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-45032015000...
,2222. Ajayi AI, Ismail KO, Akpan W. Factors associated with consistent condom use: a cross-sectional survey of two Nigerian universities. BMC Public Health 2019; 19 (1): 1207. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7543-1
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7543-...
,2525. Bryan AEB, Norris J, Abdallah DA, Zawacki T, Morrison DM, George WH, et al. Conflito de insistência de preservativos em encontros sexuais envolvendo álcool feminino com um novo parceiro masculino. Psychol Women Q 2017; 41 (1): 100-13. https://doi.org/10.1177/0361684316668301
https://doi.org/10.1177/0361684316668301...
; lack of social support2222. Ajayi AI, Ismail KO, Akpan W. Factors associated with consistent condom use: a cross-sectional survey of two Nigerian universities. BMC Public Health 2019; 19 (1): 1207. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7543-1
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7543-...
,2525. Bryan AEB, Norris J, Abdallah DA, Zawacki T, Morrison DM, George WH, et al. Conflito de insistência de preservativos em encontros sexuais envolvendo álcool feminino com um novo parceiro masculino. Psychol Women Q 2017; 41 (1): 100-13. https://doi.org/10.1177/0361684316668301
https://doi.org/10.1177/0361684316668301...
; condom fatigue1111. Dourado I, MacCarthy S, Reddy A, Calazans G, Gruskin S. Revisitando o uso do preservativo no Brasil. Rev Bras Epidemiol 2015; (Suppl 1): 63-88. https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-4503201500050006
https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-45032015000...
,2222. Ajayi AI, Ismail KO, Akpan W. Factors associated with consistent condom use: a cross-sectional survey of two Nigerian universities. BMC Public Health 2019; 19 (1): 1207. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7543-1
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7543-...
; low negotiating power of use2222. Ajayi AI, Ismail KO, Akpan W. Factors associated with consistent condom use: a cross-sectional survey of two Nigerian universities. BMC Public Health 2019; 19 (1): 1207. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7543-1
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7543-...
,2525. Bryan AEB, Norris J, Abdallah DA, Zawacki T, Morrison DM, George WH, et al. Conflito de insistência de preservativos em encontros sexuais envolvendo álcool feminino com um novo parceiro masculino. Psychol Women Q 2017; 41 (1): 100-13. https://doi.org/10.1177/0361684316668301
https://doi.org/10.1177/0361684316668301...
; and stable partnerships1111. Dourado I, MacCarthy S, Reddy A, Calazans G, Gruskin S. Revisitando o uso do preservativo no Brasil. Rev Bras Epidemiol 2015; (Suppl 1): 63-88. https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-4503201500050006
https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-45032015000...
,1212. Berquó E, Barbosa RM, Lima LP. Trends in condom use: Brazil 1998 and 2005. Rev Saude Publica 2008; 42 (Suppl 1): 34-44. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102008000800006
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-8910200800...
,2222. Ajayi AI, Ismail KO, Akpan W. Factors associated with consistent condom use: a cross-sectional survey of two Nigerian universities. BMC Public Health 2019; 19 (1): 1207. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7543-1
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7543-...
,2525. Bryan AEB, Norris J, Abdallah DA, Zawacki T, Morrison DM, George WH, et al. Conflito de insistência de preservativos em encontros sexuais envolvendo álcool feminino com um novo parceiro masculino. Psychol Women Q 2017; 41 (1): 100-13. https://doi.org/10.1177/0361684316668301
https://doi.org/10.1177/0361684316668301...
. In Brazil, the lower use of condoms by the Brazilian population, among these factors, could also be explained in part by the types of partnerships established throughout life, as studies have shown that people with stable partners are the ones who use condoms the least1212. Berquó E, Barbosa RM, Lima LP. Trends in condom use: Brazil 1998 and 2005. Rev Saude Publica 2008; 42 (Suppl 1): 34-44. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102008000800006
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-8910200800...
1414. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Secretaria de Vigilância em Saúde. Departamento de DST, Aids e Hepatites Virais. Pesquisa de Conhecimentos, Atitudes e Práticas na População Brasileira. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde; 2016. [cited on May 31, 2021]. Available at:http://www.aids.gov.br/pt-br/pub/2016/pesquisa-de-conhecimentos-atitudes-e-praticas-na-populacao-brasileira-pcap-2013
http://www.aids.gov.br/pt-br/pub/2016/pe...
. This fact corroborates the results of the present study, which, despite not evaluating the type of partnership, showed that older age groups had less use of condoms, and the rate of stable partnerships tends to grow with advancing age2626. Gomes A, Nunes C. Caracterização do uso do preservativo em jovens adultos portugueses. Anal Psicol 2011; 29 (4): 489-503. https://doi.org/10.14417/ap.99
https://doi.org/10.14417/ap.99...
. In addition, our findings point to trust in the partner as the main reason for not using condoms, which reinforces the influence of the type of partnership in the use of condoms, since many couples believe that monogamy guarantees the partner’s fidelity and the reduction of STI risk2727. Moura SLO, Silva MAM, Moreira ACA, Freitas CASL, Pinheiro AKB. Women’s perception of their vulnerability to sexually transmitted infections. Esc Anna Nery 2021; 25 (1): e20190325. https://doi.org/10.1590/2177-9465-EAN-2019-0325
https://doi.org/10.1590/2177-9465-EAN-20...
.

Another result of the present study was the increasingly precocious sexual initiation in the Brazilian population, with a lower average age of male individuals, with lower income, less education, and living in the northern region of the country, which evidences important social inequalities and corroborates the findings of previous studies2828. Oliveira-Campos M, Nunes ML, Madeira FC, Santos MG, Bregmann SR, Malta DC, et al. Sexual behavior among Brazilian adolescents, National Adolescent School-based Health Survey (PeNSE 2012). Rev Bras Epidemiol 2014; 17 (Suppl 1): 116-30. https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-4503201400050010
https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-45032014000...
,2929. Bertoli RS, Scheidmantel CE, De-Carvalho NS. College students and HIV infection: a study of sexual behavior and vulnerabilities. Brazilian J Sex Transm Dis 2016; 28 (3): 90-5. https://doi.org/10.5533/DST-2177-8264-201628305
https://doi.org/10.5533/DST-2177-8264-20...
,3030. Gräf DD, Mesenburg MA, Fassa AG. Risky sexual behavior and associated factors in undergraduate students in a city in Southern Brazil. Rev Saude Pública 2020; 4: 41. https://doi.org/10.11606/s1518-8787.2020054001709
https://doi.org/10.11606/s1518-8787.2020...
. The earlier occurrence of sexual initiation in men can be explained by social pressure, as it is considered a proof of masculinity and a gender differential2828. Oliveira-Campos M, Nunes ML, Madeira FC, Santos MG, Bregmann SR, Malta DC, et al. Sexual behavior among Brazilian adolescents, National Adolescent School-based Health Survey (PeNSE 2012). Rev Bras Epidemiol 2014; 17 (Suppl 1): 116-30. https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-4503201400050010
https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-45032014000...
. Several studies have pointed to low education as a risk factor for risky sexual behaviors and practices1010. Miranda AE, Freitas FLS, Passos MRL, Lopez MAA, Pereira GFM. Políticas públicas em infecções sexualmente transmissíveis no Brasil. Epidemiol Serv Saúde 2021; 30 (spe1): e2020611. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1679-4974202100019.esp1
https://doi.org/10.1590/S1679-4974202100...
,1212. Berquó E, Barbosa RM, Lima LP. Trends in condom use: Brazil 1998 and 2005. Rev Saude Publica 2008; 42 (Suppl 1): 34-44. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102008000800006
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-8910200800...
,3131. Miranda AE, Ribeiro D, Rezende EF, Pereira GFM, Pinto VM, Saraceni V. Associação de conhecimento sobre DST e grau de escolaridade entre conscritos em alistamento ao Exército Brasileiro. Brasil, 2007. Cienc Saude Coletiva 2013; 18 (2): 489-97. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232013000200020
https://doi.org/10.1590/S1413-8123201300...
,3232. Nascimento EGC, Cavalcanti MAF, Alchieri JC. Adesão ao uso da camisinha: a realidade comportamental no interior do nordeste do brasil. Rev Salud Publica 2017; 19 (1): 39-44. https://doi.org/10.15446/rsap.v19n1.44544
https://doi.org/10.15446/rsap.v19n1.4454...
, which is possibly related to less access to information about the mechanisms of prevention and transmission of STIs. Additionally, studies have pointed to early sexual initiation as a predisposing factor to other risky sexual behaviors, such as multiple sexual partners and the practice of unprotected sex2828. Oliveira-Campos M, Nunes ML, Madeira FC, Santos MG, Bregmann SR, Malta DC, et al. Sexual behavior among Brazilian adolescents, National Adolescent School-based Health Survey (PeNSE 2012). Rev Bras Epidemiol 2014; 17 (Suppl 1): 116-30. https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-4503201400050010
https://doi.org/10.1590/1809-45032014000...
3030. Gräf DD, Mesenburg MA, Fassa AG. Risky sexual behavior and associated factors in undergraduate students in a city in Southern Brazil. Rev Saude Pública 2020; 4: 41. https://doi.org/10.11606/s1518-8787.2020054001709
https://doi.org/10.11606/s1518-8787.2020...
. This increases the occurrence of STIs2020. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Secretaria de Vigilância em Saúde – Departamento de DST. Aids e Hepatites Virais. Boletim Epidemiológico HIV/Aids. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde; 2019. [cited on May 31, 2021]. Available at:http://www.aids.gov.br/pt-br/pub/2019/boletim-epidemiologico-de-hivaids-2019
http://www.aids.gov.br/pt-br/pub/2019/bo...
and unplanned pregnancies, especially in adolescents3333. Almeida MCC, Aquino EML. Adolescent pregnancy and completion of basic education: a study of young people in three state capital cities in Brazil. Cad Saude Publica 2011; 27 (12): 2386-400. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2011001200010
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X201100...
, which contributes to the perpetuation of poverty cycles from one generation to the next3434. Merrick TW. Making the case for investing in adolescent reproductive health: a review of evidence and poppov research contributions. Population and poverty research network. 2015 [cited on May 31, 2021]. Available at:https://www.prb.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/poppov-report-adolescent-srh.pdf
https://www.prb.org/wp-content/uploads/2...
.

Still regarding social vulnerabilities, it is highlighted that, in this study, individuals who lived in the North region had a higher prevalence of consistent use of condoms and an earlier mean age of sexual initiation. Previous studies have shown that, despite the higher prevalence of condom use in this region, a higher occurrence of casual partners was also observed: 74.1% of individuals had more than one casual partner, while 49.5% reported more than ten casual partners in the last year1313. Pascom ARP, Szwarcwald CL. Sex inequalities in HIV-related practices in the Brazilian population aged 15 to 64 years old, 2008. Cad Saude Publica 2011; 27 (Suppl 1): s27-35.,1414. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Secretaria de Vigilância em Saúde. Departamento de DST, Aids e Hepatites Virais. Pesquisa de Conhecimentos, Atitudes e Práticas na População Brasileira. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde; 2016. [cited on May 31, 2021]. Available at:http://www.aids.gov.br/pt-br/pub/2016/pesquisa-de-conhecimentos-atitudes-e-praticas-na-populacao-brasileira-pcap-2013
http://www.aids.gov.br/pt-br/pub/2016/pe...
, which suggests a higher occurrence of risky sexual behaviors in this population. Also in relation to this finding, data from the PNS 2013 with women aged 18–49 years on the use of contraceptives showed that condoms were the most used method among women living in the North and Northeast, but when considering the use of double protection, these women were the ones who practiced it the least. This may be related to the ease of use and access to condoms in relation to other contraceptives and may be an indicator of social vulnerability33. Trindade RE, Siqueira BB, Paula TF, Felisbino-Mendes MS. Contraception use and family planning inequalities of Brazilian women. Cien Saude Colet 2019; 26 (2 Suppl. 2). https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6854-1255
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6854-1255...
and corroborating the findings of this study on the greater use of public health services for acquiring condoms among the most socioeconomically vulnerable population, such as residents of the North region, Blacks and Browns, with lower income and median education.

As for the lower use of condoms found in the female population, previous studies have also shown gender inequalities1212. Berquó E, Barbosa RM, Lima LP. Trends in condom use: Brazil 1998 and 2005. Rev Saude Publica 2008; 42 (Suppl 1): 34-44. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102008000800006
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-8910200800...
,1313. Pascom ARP, Szwarcwald CL. Sex inequalities in HIV-related practices in the Brazilian population aged 15 to 64 years old, 2008. Cad Saude Publica 2011; 27 (Suppl 1): s27-35.. Although the male condom is the third most used contraceptive method by Brazilian women33. Trindade RE, Siqueira BB, Paula TF, Felisbino-Mendes MS. Contraception use and family planning inequalities of Brazilian women. Cien Saude Colet 2019; 26 (2 Suppl. 2). https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6854-1255
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6854-1255...
, it has a high rate of discontinuity and is mainly replaced by hormonal contraceptives3535. Borges ALV, Chofakian CBN, Viana AO, Divino EA. Descontinuidades contraceptivas no uso do contraceptivo hormonal oral, injetável e do preservativo masculino. Cad Saude Publica 2021; 37 (2): e00014220. https://doi.org/10.1590/0102-311x00014220.
https://doi.org/10.1590/0102-311x0001422...
, which suggests that the establishment of stable partnerships implies the adoption of other contraceptives and the abandonment of condoms. In the present study, the second most cited reason for not using condoms was the use of another method to prevent pregnancy, elucidating the lack of concern about the occurrence of STIs. In other words, the use of condoms would be more related to the prevention of an unplanned pregnancy, as shown by previous studies33. Trindade RE, Siqueira BB, Paula TF, Felisbino-Mendes MS. Contraception use and family planning inequalities of Brazilian women. Cien Saude Colet 2019; 26 (2 Suppl. 2). https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6854-1255
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6854-1255...
.

Therefore, the importance of the simultaneous use of condoms and another contraceptive method is highlighted, since the adoption of this measure provides greater protection against unplanned pregnancies, but mainly prevents STIs in a context of persistent challenges in coping with these diseases in the country. In Brazil, some studies have indicated a low prevalence (10–11%) of dual protection among women of reproductive age33. Trindade RE, Siqueira BB, Paula TF, Felisbino-Mendes MS. Contraception use and family planning inequalities of Brazilian women. Cien Saude Colet 2019; 26 (2 Suppl. 2). https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6854-1255
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6854-1255...
,3636. Gonçalves TR, Leite HM, Bairros FS, Olinto MTA, Barcellos NT, Costa JSD. Desigualdades sociais no uso contraceptivos em mulheres adultas no Sul do Brasil. Rev Saude Publica 2019; 53: 28. https://doi.org/10.11606/S1518-8787.2019053000861
https://doi.org/10.11606/S1518-8787.2019...
, which is in line with the worrying increase in STIs in recent years99. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Secretaria de Vigilância em Saúde. Departamento de Doenças de Condições Crônicas e Infecções Sexualmente Transmissíveis. Sífilis 2019. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde; 2019 [cited on May 31, 2021]. Available at:http://www.aids.gov.br/pt-br/pub/2019/boletim-epidemiologico-sifilis-2019
http://www.aids.gov.br/pt-br/pub/2019/bo...
,1010. Miranda AE, Freitas FLS, Passos MRL, Lopez MAA, Pereira GFM. Políticas públicas em infecções sexualmente transmissíveis no Brasil. Epidemiol Serv Saúde 2021; 30 (spe1): e2020611. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1679-4974202100019.esp1
https://doi.org/10.1590/S1679-4974202100...
,2121. Santos MM, Lopes AKB, Roncalli AG, Lima KC. Trends of syphilis in Brazil: a growth portrait of the treponemic epidemic. PLoS One 2020; 15 (4): e0231029. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0231029
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.023...
. Another relevant fact is the reduction in condom use observed after the adoption of other contraceptives3232. Nascimento EGC, Cavalcanti MAF, Alchieri JC. Adesão ao uso da camisinha: a realidade comportamental no interior do nordeste do brasil. Rev Salud Publica 2017; 19 (1): 39-44. https://doi.org/10.15446/rsap.v19n1.44544
https://doi.org/10.15446/rsap.v19n1.4454...
,3535. Borges ALV, Chofakian CBN, Viana AO, Divino EA. Descontinuidades contraceptivas no uso do contraceptivo hormonal oral, injetável e do preservativo masculino. Cad Saude Publica 2021; 37 (2): e00014220. https://doi.org/10.1590/0102-311x00014220.
https://doi.org/10.1590/0102-311x0001422...
,3737. Pazol K, Ramer MR, Hogue CJ. Condoms for dual protection: patterns of use with highly effective contraceptive methods. Public Health Rep 2010; 125: 208-17. https://doi.org/10.1177/003335491012500209.
https://doi.org/10.1177/0033354910125002...
,3838. Hood JE, Hogben M, Chartier M, Bolan G, Bauer H. Dual contraceptive use among adolescents and young adults: correlates and implications for condom use and sexually transmitted infection outcomes. J Fam Plann Reprod Health Care 2014; 40 (3): 200-7. https://doi.org/10.1136/jfprhc-2012-100295
https://doi.org/10.1136/jfprhc-2012-1002...
, thus reiterating the greater exposure to STIs.

Gender inequality in this context is based on the greater susceptibility of women to STIs due to biological disadvantage and the greater difficulty in negotiating with their partner about condom use3232. Nascimento EGC, Cavalcanti MAF, Alchieri JC. Adesão ao uso da camisinha: a realidade comportamental no interior do nordeste do brasil. Rev Salud Publica 2017; 19 (1): 39-44. https://doi.org/10.15446/rsap.v19n1.44544
https://doi.org/10.15446/rsap.v19n1.4454...
, which is more aggravated among women in stable relationships, with low-income, low education, aged over 45 years old, and living in regions with greater socioeconomic disparities3232. Nascimento EGC, Cavalcanti MAF, Alchieri JC. Adesão ao uso da camisinha: a realidade comportamental no interior do nordeste do brasil. Rev Salud Publica 2017; 19 (1): 39-44. https://doi.org/10.15446/rsap.v19n1.44544
https://doi.org/10.15446/rsap.v19n1.4454...
,3939. Garcia S, Souza FM. Vulnerabilidades ao HIV/aids no Contexto Brasileiro: iniquidades de gênero, raça e geração. Saude Soc 2010; 19 (Suppl 2): 9-20. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0104-12902010000600003
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0104-1290201000...
, corroborating the results of the present study.

Finally, these estimates point to the need for greater investments and the resumption of policies and programs in the field of sexual and reproductive health in the country, which has been a challenge, given the growing conservatism and the setbacks observed in this area, as already pointed out by previous studies33. Trindade RE, Siqueira BB, Paula TF, Felisbino-Mendes MS. Contraception use and family planning inequalities of Brazilian women. Cien Saude Colet 2019; 26 (2 Suppl. 2). https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6854-1255
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6854-1255...
,4040. Felisbino-Mendes MS, Paula TF, Machado IE, Oliveira-Campos M, Malta DC. Analysis of sexual and reproductive health indicators of Brazilian adolescents, 2009, 2012 and 2015. Rev Bras Epidemiol 2018; 21 (Suppl1): e180013. https://doi.org/10.1590/1980-549720180013.supl.1
https://doi.org/10.1590/1980-54972018001...
,4141. The Lancet. Preventing teenage pregnancies in Brazil. Lancet 2020; 395 (10223): 468. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30352-4
https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30...
,4242. Lionco T, Alves ACO, Mattiello F, Freire AM. Ideologia de gênero: estratégia argumentativa que forja cientificidade para o fundamentalismo religioso. Rev Psicol Polít 2018 [cited on May 31, 2021]; 18 (43): 599-621. Available at:http://pepsic.bvsalud.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1519-549X2018000300011&lng=pt&nrm=iso
http://pepsic.bvsalud.org/scielo.php?scr...
, in addition to the freezing of spendings on education and health provided for by the proposed amendment to the Constitution — PEC 241/20164343. Rasella D, Basu S, Hone T, Paes-Sousa R, Ocké-Reis CO, Millett C. Child morbidity and mortality associated with alternative policy responses to the economic crisis in Brazil: a nationwide microsimulation study. PLoS Med 2018; 15 (5): e1002570. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002570
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.100...
.

The ongoing need to strengthen the role of primary care in the field of sexual and reproductive health is also highlighted, in addition to implementing effective health promotion, education and communication policies and qualifying professionals in the area for a more comprehensive approach to sexual health3131. Miranda AE, Ribeiro D, Rezende EF, Pereira GFM, Pinto VM, Saraceni V. Associação de conhecimento sobre DST e grau de escolaridade entre conscritos em alistamento ao Exército Brasileiro. Brasil, 2007. Cienc Saude Coletiva 2013; 18 (2): 489-97. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232013000200020
https://doi.org/10.1590/S1413-8123201300...
. Systematic review of interventions to promote condom use among adolescents and young adults were effective in changing attitudes, social norms, and beliefs in favor of condom use1919. Evans WD, Ulasevich A, Hatheway M, Deperthes B. Systematic review of peer-reviewed literature on global condom promotion programs. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020; 17 (7): 2262. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072262
https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072262...
. Another aspect that must be considered is the partnership between the areas of health and education, as the school can be strategic for health education actions and interventions that promote information on the mechanisms of prevention and transmission of STIs3939. Garcia S, Souza FM. Vulnerabilidades ao HIV/aids no Contexto Brasileiro: iniquidades de gênero, raça e geração. Saude Soc 2010; 19 (Suppl 2): 9-20. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0104-12902010000600003
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0104-1290201000...
,4444. Fonner VA, Armstrong KS, Kennedy CE, O’Reilly KR, Sweat MD. School based sex education and HIV prevention in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One 2014; 9 (3): e89692. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0089692
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.008...
, especially for adolescents, who are starting their sexual life and whose behaviors adopted during this period can consolidate and affect their health over the years.

As limitations of the study, one can mention the lack of information on types of partnership and type of condoms, which may be included in future investigations, in addition to the exclusion of people under 18 years of age. On the other hand, other surveys and research show that the male condom is the most commonly used condom. In addition, it emphasizes the relevance of population-based surveys for monitoring the sexual behaviors and practices of the Brazilian population, which constitute a fundamental tool for planning strategic actions and policies for the prevention and control of STIs, as well as the reduction of inequities observed in the present study. Additionally, it emphasizes the need to standardize the indicators evaluated, which will allow for future comparability of data, in addition to monitoring the temporal evolution of these indicators.

This study pointed out the low prevalence of condom use in the Brazilian population. In addition, important socioeconomic and demographic disparities were observed, reinforcing the need to revisit, strengthen, and expand public policies in the field of sexual and reproductive health, with a view to preventing risky sexual behavior and the comprehensive promotion of condom use and double protection.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

DCM thanks the National Council for Scientific and Technogical (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico – CNPq) for the productivity grant.

  • Financial support: National Health Fund, Health Surveillance Secretariat, Ministry of Health (TED: 66/2018). Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq).

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    10 Dec 2021
  • Date of issue
    2021

History

  • Received
    02 June 2021
  • Reviewed
    15 July 2021
  • Accepted
    02 Aug 2021
  • Preprint
    13 Sept 2021
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