Simultaneous condom and hormonal contraception usage maximize protection against pregnancy and STI, although there is concern that promotion of this strategy could result in diminished condom use and inadvertently increase STI risk. In this study, we assessed how the use of dual methods, versus condoms alone, related to STI and consistency of condom use, and described the correlates of dual-use.

A sample of one thousand four hundred and fifty young people was surveyed and screened for chlamydia and gonorrhea at non-clinical sites in two high morbidity Californian counties. Differences in STI prevalence and reported consistency of condom use were assessed for ‘condom only’ and ‘dual method’ users. Correlates of dual-use were analyzed via multivariate polytomous logistic regression.

Condom only and dual method users did not significantly differ in terms of STI prevalence or reported consistency of condom use. Sex, age, race, and relationship tenure were significant correlates of dual-use.

The study concluded that dual method use did not detrimentally affect STI risk. If interpreted alongside each subgroups’ risk patterns for STI and unplanned pregnancy, the correlates of dual-use can inform STI and pregnancy prevention interventions.