Sex Without a Condom is on the Rise in People With HIV in Cuba

Sex Without a Condom is on the Rise in People With HIV in Cuba

People who have been diagnosed with HIV in Cuba use a condom even less than before, although they have information on the effectiveness of it in stopping the transmission of the virus. This was discovered by a survey carried out by the National Office of Statistics and Information of the island, published at the end of last year. 

As the news agency Inter Press Service in Cuba informs, almost 11,500 people who live with HIV answered a series of questions, which were applied in 2018 to a representative sample and proportional to the prevalence of HIV in the country, 73.4% of those who answered were men and 26.6% were women. 

The investigation team found that from 2012 to 2018 the rate of use of the condom in sexual relations of people with the virus decreased, since even though just 81.4% of men and 78% of women said they used a condom in all of their sexual relations, these numbers were even lower than the ones obtained six years prior, when 86.1% of men and 81% of women used it always. 

This data highlights the fact that “having information on HIV, how it’s transmitted and the way it’s possible to reduce the risk of infection, are necessary conditions without which it would be impossible to prevent the spread of the virus, but that’s not enough”, the study pointed out. 

To this we add that the percentage of the population with HIV that had transactional sex in the last year increased from 7.8% in 2012 to 11.5% in 2018, which indicates that lack of protection is also present in commercial sexual relations. 

“Besides, contrary to what is expected, when comparing the use of the condom with one or another type of sexual partner, it turns out that the use of a condom in transactional sexual relations is relatively less frequent than when a transaction is not taking place”, the investigation also warned. On the demographic characteristics, it was observed that people with a lower education level and the youngest ones were the ones that protected themselves the least, both themselves from a re-infection as well as others from a possible infection. This represents an alarm, said the researchers, which indicates that it’s necessary to continue approaching the use of the condom in communities of people who live with HIV.