When it comes to risky sexual behavior, Americans top the list
Today Durex announced the findings of its 2011 Durex Sexual Wellbeing global survey and many of the implications are shocking.
Among the more eye-opening observations is the fact that overall, US men and women are practicing the riskiest sexual behavior in many measures. In fact, six out of 10 US men and women (60 percent) didn't use any form of protection against HIV/AIDS or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) when they lost their virginity.
The Durex Sexual Wellbeing global survey, conducted annually since 2006, has examined the sexual attitudes and behaviors of more than 29,000 people across 36 different countries with a goal of identifying areas where safety and protection can be improved.
Durex, a global expert in sex and sexuality, released the survey data to support the 23rd annual World AIDS Day (www.avert.org) taking place on Thursday, December 1, 2011. The theme of World AIDS Day 2011 is "Getting to Zero," and the global community has committed to zeroing in on three targets:
- zero new HIV infections
- zero discrimination
- zero AIDS-related deaths
The survey finds that people around the world are not being as smart as they could - and should - be in taking steps to be safer when having sex. And Americans are the biggest risk takers of all, according to the poll results.
So what did the Durex Sexual Wellbeing global survey find?
- six out of 10 U.S. men and women (60 percent) didn't use any form of protection against HIV/AIDS or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) when they lost their virginity. This number is startlingly high when compared to the lower rates in other countries such as Mexico (49 percent) and Colombia (47 percent).
- among those who risked not practicing safer sex, the largest proportion of US men and women (49 percent) say they were confident their sexual partner was free of STIs, although one in five (20 percent) of all those in a relationship admit they are unsure of their partner's experience.
- close to a quarter of all US women (24 percent) who have taken a risk say it was a mistake they regretted.
- US men claim to have an average of 20 different sexual partners in total, fewer than the men in Canada (27) or Australia (24) but more than in France (19), Britain (17) or Mexico (15).
- US women have had 10 partners on average, the same number as women in Britain and France but more than in Canada (9) and Italy (8).
"It is of great concern to discover how many sexually active American adults are putting their health, and that of their partners, at risk," commented Kevin Harshaw, Marketing Director, US Personal Care, Reckitt Benckiser. "The findings highlight how important it is to continue the efforts to inform and educate sexually active Americans of all ages."
The survey was commissioned by Durex, which carries out a range of health promotion initiatives to encourage better and safer sex. It was conducted online in 35 countries and face to face in Nigeria by Harris Interactive among a total of 29,003 adults (aged 18+) in 36 countries between Sept. 6 and Oct. 3, 2011. The US results had a base of 1,019 respondents. The complete survey findings will be released in March 2012.
For more information and statistics from the survey, please visit www.durex.com.