Sexual Risk Behaviors and Condom Use Barriers in Iranian Men with Substance Use Disorders

Effat Merghati-Khoei, Zahed Rezaei, Davood Shojaei-Zadeh, Nammam Ali Azadi, Shahnaz Rimaz, Alireza Bayat, Saeedeh Moayedi-Nia, Sanaz Omati, Farahnaz Salimi, Jeffrey Korte, Therese Killeen, Minoo Mohraz


Background: We aimed to investigate risky sexual behaviors (RSBs) and condom use barriers in Iranian men with substance use disorders (SUDs).

Methods: Of the total 1800 outpatient drug free (ODF) and methadone maintenance treatment program (MMTP) active centers in Tehran, Iran, six were selected to participate in the current study. Data were collected (n = 300 men) using three questionnaires including a demographic questionnaire, the Risky Sexual Behavior Questionnaire (RSBQ), and the Condom Barriers Scale (CBS). The statistical software R, analysis of variance post hoc and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) logistic regression tests were used in data analysis.

Findings: The majority, (n = 194, 64.7%) reported at least one lifetime episode of RSBs. Compared to married participants (23.1%), 88.5% of single and 87.0% of divorced men had a history of RSB. Generally, the lowest and highest subscale scores of the CBS were related to sexual experience (2.60 ± 0.71) and access/availability structure (3.77 ± 0.54), respectively. The results of MANOVA analysis showed that there was a statistically significant difference between the CSB subscales based on the participants' education and marital status
(P < 0.001). Only the partner barrier subscale had a significant negative relationship (P = 0.003) with RSB.

Conclusion: Sexual dynamic of Iranian men with SUDs is different. Barriers to condom use seem to be socio-culturally determined. Culturally acceptable strategies need to be utilized in Iranian clinical settings reaching beyond simply condom accessibility for this at risk population.


Sexual risk behaviors; Condoms; Substance abuse; Sexually transmitted infections; Men

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