Open Access Open Badges Research

Correlates of abortions and condom use among high risk women attending an std clinic in st Petersburg, Russia

Nadia Abdala1*, Weihai Zhan1, Alla V Shaboltas23, Roman V Skochilov23, Andrei P Kozlov23 and Tatiana V Krasnoselskikh24

Author Affiliations

1 Yale School of Public Health, 60 College Street, New Haven, CT, 06520, USA

2 The Biomedical Center, 8 Vyborgskaya ul, St. Petersburg, 194044, Russian Federation

3 Saint Petersburg, State University, 7/9 Universitetskaya nab, St Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation

4 Pavlov State Medical University, 6/8 Leo Tolstoy Str., St Petersburg, 197022, Russian Federation

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Reproductive Health 2011, 8:28  doi:10.1186/1742-4755-8-28

Published: 12 October 2011



Many women in Russia rely on abortion as a primary birth control method. Although refusal to use contraceptives, including condoms, may undermine public health efforts to decrease HIV sexual risk behaviors, few studies have investigated the risk factors associated with abortion among women at high risk for HIV. This study sought to identify the correlates of abortions and of lack of condom use among high risk STD clinic patients in St Petersburg Russia.


Cross-sectional analysis of data collected between 2009 and 2010 from women who had casual or multiple sexual partners in the previous three months was analyzed. Multivariate logistic regression assessed the independent correlates of abortion(s) and no condom use in the prior three months. Independent variables included socio-demographics, at risk drinking per alcohol use disorder identification test (AUDIT-C) criteria, having sex after drinking alcohol, having a sexual partner who injects illicit drugs, and parity.


Of 87 participants, 45% had an abortion in their lifetime and 26% did not use condoms in the prior three months. Abortion was independently associated with low income (OR, 3.33, 95%CI, 1.13-9.78) and at risk drinking (OR, 3.52, 95%CI, 1.24-10.05). Lack of condom use was independently associated with being more likely to have sex after drinking (OR, 3.37, 95%CI, 1.10-10.28) and parity (OR, 3.69, 95%CI, 1.25-10.89).


Programs to increase contraceptive use including condom use among women at high risk for STD/HIV in Russia are needed. Programs to reduce sexual HIV risk and abortion rates must address alcohol misuse and target women with limited income.

abortion; condom use; Russia; HIV risk; high risk women; alcohol misuse; AUDIT-C