The long-term objective of this study is to advance the development and acceptability of woman-controlled methods of HIV prevention, particularly among women at high risk through their own or their sexual partners' drug use. Drug-involved women constitute a high-priority population for HIV prevention, but efforts to date to reduce sexual risk behavior among these women have had limited success. Vaginal microbicide and other woman- controlled methods of HIV prevention currently under development may markedly enhance the protection against HIV available to these women, but these products will not succeed without more attention to the factors associated with their broad acceptability and barriers to their adoption. This 2-year study will be conducted by Abt Associates Inc. in collaboration with Family Health International and three sites-in Bridgeport, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island; and San Juan, Puerto Rico-with demonstrated access to the populations of interest. it will assess the acceptability of currently available spermicides with delivery mechanisms likely to be used in anti-HIV vaginal microbicides. Three subgroups of drug-involved women will be included in the study: users of heroin; users of crack or other illegal drugs besides heroin; and actual/potential sexual partners of male drug injectors. Starting with existing models from contraceptive acceptability and HIV prevention research, a theoretical framework of microbicide acceptability among drug- involved women will be developed during Phase I (Year 1). To refine the framework, focus group research will then be conducted with adult, drug- involved women, male drug injectors, and male and female adolescents, and small product trials will be conducted in which adult women will use and report on their experience with three available spermicide products. The findings from Phase I, identifying acceptability factors such as price, ease and timing of use, and unobtrusiveness for different age, racial/ethnic, and drug-involvement subgroups, will be quantitatively tested in a Phase II survey of larger samples of drug-involved women in the same three sites during year 2. Contingent upon the results of the phase I-II research, a Phase III controlled trial of actual anti-HIV microbicide products and an intervention designed to increase their adoption and continued use, may be proposed.
|Morrow, Kathleen M; Ruiz, Monica S (2008) Assessing microbicide acceptability: a comprehensive and integrated approach. AIDS Behav 12:272-83|
|Mason, Theresa H; Foster, Susan E; Finlinson, H Ann et al. (2003) Perspectives related to the potential use of vaginal microbicides among drug-involved women: focus groups in three cities in the United States and Puerto Rico. AIDS Behav 7:339-51|
|Hammett, T M; Mason, T H; Joanis, C L et al. (2000) Acceptability of formulations and application methods for vaginal microbicides among drug-involved women: results of product trials in three cities. Sex Transm Dis 27:119-26|
|Hammett, T M; Norton, G D; Mason, T H et al. (2000) Drug-involved women as potential users of vaginal microbicides for HIV and STD prevention: a three-city survey. J Womens Health Gend Based Med 9:1071-80|