Cost as a barrier to condom use: The evidence for condom subsidies in the United States

Deborah Cohen, Richard Scribner, Roger Bedimo, Thomas A. Farley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Scopus citations


Objectives. This study sought to determine the impact of price on condom use. Methods. A program based on distribution of condoms at no charge was replaced with one providing low-cost condoms (25 cents). Pretest and posttest surveys asked about condom use among persons reporting 2 or more sex partners. Results. At pretest, 57% of respondents had obtained free condoms, and 77% had used a condom during their most recent sexual encounter. When the price was raised to 25 cents, the respective percentages decreased to 30% and 64%. Conclusions. Cost is a barrier to condom use. Free condoms should be distributed to encourage their use by persons at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-568
Number of pages2
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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