chapter  8
13 Pages

Marital Discourse and Condom Use

WithCarla Willig

Despite relative media silence in recent months, new cases of HIV infection are still occurring in Britain as elsewhere in Europe. The rate of infection through heterosexual contact is increasing steadily. A record number of AIDS cases were reported by the Public Health Laboratory Service for the third quarter of 1992: a total of 417 new cases, which is more than the previously worst quarter (391 to the end of December 1991). Of these cases 216 have been attributed to heterosexual sex. It has been suggested that heterosexual behaviour shows little sign of change in order to cut the risk of HIV infection. According to Adler (1992) one in 100 men at London’s STD clinics and one in 200 women at central London antenatal clinics are HIV positive. Whereas in 1987 heterosexual intercourse was responsible for 9 per cent of HIV infections, it was responsible for 30 per cent of infections in the first six months of 1993. There is also evidence that a large proportion of heterosexually active young people fail to use condoms regularly (e.g. Richard and van der Pligt, 1991; Ford, 1991; Ingham, Woodcock and Stenner 1991).