Young people: condom use with non-regular partners

Export Indicator

Percentage of young people aged 15-24 reporting the use of a condom during sexual intercourse with a non-regular sex partner
What it measures

 To assess progress towards preventing early-age exposure to HIV through unprotected sex with non-regular partners. Consistent correct use of condoms within non-regular sexual partnerships substantially reduces the risk of sexual HIV transmission. This is especially important for young people who often experience the highest rates of HIV acquisition because they have low prior exposure to infection and (typically) relatively high numbers of non-regular sexual partnerships. Consistent condom use with non-regular sexual partners is important even in countries where HIV prevalence is low because it can prevent the spread of HIV in circumstances where non-regular relationships are common. Condom use is one measure of protection against HIV: delaying age at fi rst sex, reducing the number of non-regular sex partners, and being faithful to one non-infected partners are equally important.


Number of the respondents (aged 15–24) who reported having had a non-regular (i.e., non-marital and non-cohabiting) sexual partner in the last 12 months who also reported that a condom was used the last time they had sex with this partner.


Number of respondents (15–24) who reported having had a non-regular sexual partner in the last 12 months

Method of measurement

Survey respondents aged 15–24 years are asked whether they have commenced sexual activity (or otherwise this is inferred from responses to a question on age at first sex). Those who report sexual activity (whether currently married or unmarried) are then asked the following questions. 1. In the last 12 months, have you had sexual intercourse with a nonregular partner who was neither your spouse nor someone you were living with? 2. If the answer to question 1 is “yes”: How many non-regular partners have you had sex with in the 12 months? 3. If the answer to question 1. is “yes”: Did you (or your partner) use a condom the last time you last had sex with your most recent non-regular partner?
Indicator scores are required for all respondents aged 15–24 years and for males and females, separately, each by urban/rural residence.
The percentage of young people who said they had started sex and the percentage of these who had had a non-regular partner in the last 12 months should be stated.

Measurement frequency



Age group: 15 years - 19 years, 20 years - 24 years

Condom type: N/A

Education: N/A

Gender: Male, Female

Geographic location: Urban, Rural

HIV status: N/A

Pregnancy status: N/A

Sector: N/A

Service Type: N/A

Target: N/A

Time period: N/A

Type of orphan: N/A

Vulnerability status: N/A

Explanation of the numerator
Explanation of the denominator
Strengths and weaknesses

• This indicator shows the extent to which condoms are used by young people who engage in nonregular sexual relationships. However, the broader signifi cance of any given indicator score will depend upon the extent to which young people engage in such relationships. Thus, levels and trends should be interpreted carefully using the data obtained on percentages of young people who have started sex and (of these) that have engaged in a non-regular partnership within the last year.
• The maximum protective effect of condoms in non-regular sexual intercourse is achieved when their use is consistent rather than occasional. The current indicator will provide an overestimate of the level of consistent condom use. However, the alternative method of asking whether condoms were always/sometimes/never used in sexual encounters with non-regular partners in a specified period is subject to recall bias. Furthermore, the trend in condom use in the most recent sex act with a non-regular partner will generally reflect the trend in consistent condom use with such partners.

Further information