Condom use among Swedes while traveling internationally: A qualitative descriptive study

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This study explores factors influencing condom use among Swedish women and men who visited a sexual health clinic after unprotected sex during international travel. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 women and 25 men. The data were analyzed using conventional content analysis. The informants' narratives were categorized as strategies and barriers. Strategies found were: risk assessment, testing, and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. The barriers were characterized as technical and personal or emotional. The findings indicate that sexual behavior may be different while traveling internationally, and that a release of social constraints and increased alcohol consumption were risk factors for practicing unprotected sex. Some of the strategies may be appropriate for the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, but several strategies and most barriers were used to explain why unprotected sex was practiced. Thus, people need the opportunity to reconsider strategies and strengthen confidence in their ability to use condoms. An individual-based approach employed within routine health care may support the practice of safer sex and prevent further transmission of sexually transmitted infections.

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