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When Does Size Matter? When HIV/AIDS Rates Keep Rising, and Black Youth Keep Dying

The study done by Hunter college interviewed 463 gay and bisexual men to figure out how the “fit and feel” of condoms impact their sexual behaviors, specifically when it comes to the frequency of use. Only 40 percent of the respondents called it “easy” find condoms that fir properly.

The studies findings went on to say the following:

  • Nearly half of the respondents reported condom slippage during sex and almost a third reported condom breakage in the previous three months.
  • There was also an association between condom breakage and unprotected sex, suggesting that some men may have unprotected sex simply because they cannot find proper fitting condoms.
  • Most of the men surveyed indicated their penis length was between 6 and 8 inches, though there was a good amount of variation in both length and girth.

The chief investigator in the project (Dr. Christian Grov) offered the following:

“These findings indicate that the fit of a condom matters. A client at an HIV service agency might see a bowl filled with ‘standard’ condoms and have to ask a provider if they have other sizes available. That extra step could make the difference between someone leaving with a condom—the right condom—or going home empty-handed.”

Dr. Grov makes very valid points that need to be taking into consideration as we try to stop the next generation from being infected with HIV/AIDS.

The study unfortunately does not look at this issue through the lens of race, but I find it very difficult not too. Between all the jargon about penis size and the HIV/AIDS residual impacts of not wearing condoms, the racial undertones are running rapid.

If we wish to get a generation of men to wear condoms, especially in black communities, I think its about time we start teaching some relevant and culturally based sex education courses, before students start having sex (which means that junior year of high school does not cut it as a time to start teaching sex ed).