Only about one-third of Americans are using condoms.
The newly released data is reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. Researchers behind the study focused on an estimated 9,300 men and 11,300 women between the ages of 15 to 44. The time range for data collection was from the 2011-2015 U.S. National Survey of Family Growth, according to HealthDay.
Of those who were surveyed, 24 percent of women and 34 percent of men said they’d used condoms during their last sexual intercourse, with 55-60% of both groups stating that condoms were their only form of contraception.
The data is especially disheartening for the researchers because, while other forms of contraception can act as birth control, condoms also protect from STDs.
“The use of condoms is a public health issue,” said Casey Copen, according to HealthDay. Copen is a statistician at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.
Copen continues, “STDs can lead to long-term consequences, such as infertility. Condoms, when used consistently and correctly, reduce the risk of HIV and STDs.”
According to the CDC, 20 million new cases of STDs are diagnosed annually.
The data also showed that 25 percent of women and 33 percent of men used a combination of contraceptives to lessen their risks of both STDs and in heterosexual relationships, the risk of unwanted pregnancies.
The researchers behind the data hope that the numbers will be a call-to-action to increase more availability and information flow on the importance of condom use.