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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


FONTANELLA, Bruno José Barcellos  and  GOMES, Romeu. AIDS prevention in the period of sexual initiation: aspects of the symbolic dimension of the conduct of young men. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.12, pp.3311-3322. ISSN 1678-4561.

To acquire an in-depth grasp of the non-consistent use of condoms, an attempt was made to characterize aspects of the symbolic meanings of sexual conduct in a group of young males. Interviews with forty-two subjects whose sexual initiation occurred in the late 1990s were qualitatively assessed by an analysis of statements interpreted under the theoretical perspectives of sexual scripts and male lifestyle and values. Participants emphasized the importance of blood testing and a biographical analysis of their partners (to generate 'trust') and tended to use personal criteria to assess the state of their partners' health. They established a dyadic typology of these relationships divided into "infrequent" and "steady" partners respectively, exercising two kinds of approaches to condom use, namely prevention of AIDS-STD and pregnancy on the one hand and only for pregnancy prevention on the other. The narratives seem to result, among other factors, from a biomedical approach to aspects of their sex lives and a desire for a stable and monogamous sexual-affective relationship. The important and recent changes in the intrapsychic and interpersonal sexual scripts do not seem to be currently accompanied by equally profound changes in cultural scripts or male lifestyle and values.

Keywords : AIDS; Health conduct; Adolescent behavior; Sexuality; Self-care; Masculinity.

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