CONTEXT: Condom use remains low in Cote d'Ivoire, despite an increasing prevalence of HIV and widespread awareness of how the virus is transmitted. Information is needed about characteristics that predict condom use and about the role of AIDS knowledge and sex differences in the use of condoms. METHODS: Data from the 1994 Cote d'Ivoire Demographic and Health Survey were analyzed for respondents who had had sex in the two months before the survey. Logistic regressions were performed separately by sex to determine whether the accuracy of men's and women's knowledge about AIDS predicted condom use at their most recent sexual intercourse. RESULTS: Accuracy of knowledge about AIDS did not significantly predict condom use. For male respondents, the odds of condom use at last intercourse were significantly lower among those aged 35 or older than among those aged 15-19 (odds ratios, 0.3-0.5). The odds were also lower among married men (0.4) and those who reported friends, family or neighbors as their only source of AIDS knowledge (0.5). Compared with uneducated men, men with secondary or higher education were significantly more likely to report condom use (1.7). Among women, those aged 25 or older had significantly lower odds of condom use at last intercourse than those aged 15-19 (0.2-0.6). The odds of use were significantly reduced among women who were married (0.2) and those who had learned about AIDS from family, friends or neighbors or from television or radio (0.3-0.6); however, the odds were significantly higher for women with secondary or higher education than for uneducated women (2.2). CONCLUSION: The level of accuracy of AIDS knowledge did not predict the likelihood of recent condom use in this sample. Efforts to increase educational attainment in Cote d'Ivoire may be more effective in increasing condom use than a focus on improving the accuracy of AIDS knowledge.
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