Condom use at last high-risk sex

Export Indicator

The percent of respondents who say they used a condom the last time they had sex with a non-marital, non-cohabiting partner, of those who have had sex with such a partner in the last 12 months
What it measures

Progress towards preventing exposure to HIV through unprotected sexual intercourse among people with non-marital non-cohabiting partners.


Condom use is an important way of protecting against HIV, especially among people with non-regular sexual partners.


The number of respondents who report using a condom the last time they had sex with a non-marital, non-cohabiting partner.


Total number of respondents who report that they had sex with a non-marital, non-cohabiting partner in the last 12 months.



Method of measurement

Population-based surveys (Demographic Health Survey, AIDS Indicator Survey, Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey or other representative survey)

Respondents’ sexual histories are obtained. Analysis of sexual history is used to determine whether the respondent had sex with a non-marital, non-cohabiting partner in the past 12 months and, if so, whether the respondent used a condom the last time the respondent had sexual intercourse with such a partner.

Measurement frequency

3–5 years

  • Sex 
  • Age (15–19, 20–24 and 25–49 years)
  • Cities and other administrative areas of epidemiologic importance
Strengths and weaknesses

A rise in this indicator is an extremely powerful indication that condom promotion campaigns are having the desired effect among their principle target market.

Since condom promotion campaigns aim for consistent use of condoms with non-regular partners rather than simply occasional use, some surveys have tried to ask directly about consistent use, often using an always/sometimes/never question. While this may be useful in sub-population surveys, it is subject to recall bias and other biases and is not sufficiently robust for use in a general population survey. Asking about the most recent act of non-cohabiting sex minimises recall bias and gives a good cross-sectional picture of levels of condom use. It is recognised that consistent use of condoms is an important goal. But inevitably, if consistent use rises, this indicator will also rise.

Further information

Demographic and Health Survey or AIDS Indicator Survey methods and survey instruments (;

Related Indicators

PR.1 Condom use (Gen pop), 2020, WHO Consolidated HIV strategic information guidelines: driving impact through programme monitoring and management (