A new survey by the American Social Health Association shows that about half of all sexually active adults don't use condoms for vaginal sex and 82% never use condoms for oral sex, CNN.com reports. And yet the vast majority of survey respondents--84%--think they do enough to prevent catching a sexually transmitted disease. "What we know is the right thing isn't what we often do," ASHA president James Allen said. "Part of the reason of the survey is to look for current information on what people are doing, what their risks are, and what their level of knowledge is. And to look for disparities between level of knowledge and risk-taking behavior. In this instance the respondents on the survey said that they thought they had quite a bit of information about sexually transmitted diseases. And yet they did not act as though they knew that information."
ASHA surveyed 1,155 adults between the ages of 18 and 35 for the study, conducted as an educational initiative for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Awareness Month in April. Among single sexually active participants, 71% said they never use condoms or dental dams for oral sex and 23% don't use condoms for vaginal sex. More than 90% of respondents said they believed their current or recent sexual partner was STD-free, but one third of those surveyed said they never discuss STDs with their partners. About one in four Americans will contract an STD in their lifetimes.
Nine out of 10 survey respondents said their physicians have not recommended that they be vaccinated for hepatitis A and B, the only STDs for which there are preventative vaccines. Only half of the survey respondents knew hepatitis A and B can be transmitted sexually.