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An acceptability study of female-controlled methods of protection against HIV and STDs in south-western Uganda

Pool, R; Whitworth, JAG; Harrison, S; Green, G; Mbonye, AK; Hart, GJ; Wilkinson, J; (2000) An acceptability study of female-controlled methods of protection against HIV and STDs in south-western Uganda. International Journal of STD and AIDS , 11 (3) 162 - 167. 10.1258/0956462001915606.

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Abstract

We aimed to assess the acceptability of a variety of formulations of female-controlled methods of protection against HIV and STDs among men and women in south-western Uganda. Pilot interviews were carried out with 50 men and 55 women and 25 focus group discussions (FGDs) were held with 138 women and 42 men. The female condom, foaming tablets, sponge, foam, gel and film were demonstrated to 146 women and 35 of their male partners, who then tried out 2 of the products. They were interviewed 7 times during the course of 5 months. At the end experiences were evaluated during a second series of FGDs. Sixty-five (45%) women completed the trial. The main reasons for non-completion were related to geographical mobility. Product preference after the initial demonstration was similar to that at the end of the trial. The most popular formulations were the sponge (25% of the women), foaming tablets (23%), and the female condom (19%). The foam was of medium popularity (16%). The gel (9%) and film (7%) were least popular. Ten per cent of the women and 14% of the men reported products interfering with sexual enjoyment; 24% of the women and 67% of the men said products increased enjoyment. 'Dry sex' is not popular in this area and increased lubrication was an important determinant of acceptability. Age, level of education and location did have some effect on preference. Although secrecy was a dominant theme in the FGDs, 87% of the women had informed their partners by the end of the trial. The products were generally well received. Female control was an important issue for both sexes. Male attitudes were ambivalent because female ownership of products increased women's control. Although they have clear preferences, women appear to accept the products generally and might use a single available product just as readily if choice was limited, as long as it conforms to general cultural preferences, such as those relating to wet/dry sex.

Type:Article
Title:An acceptability study of female-controlled methods of protection against HIV and STDs in south-western Uganda
DOI:10.1258/0956462001915606
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health

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