Background: The female condom may provide women with the first female-controlled barrier method that is effective against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection.
Goal: This study evaluated the acceptability of the female condom among sex workers in Thailand.
Study design: Data on use and acceptability of the female condom were collected using a structured questionnaire during an 8-week follow-up.
Results: Analyses included 148 women who were still in follow-up at week 8. Sex workers used, on average, 2.8 female condoms per week. The overall satisfaction rate with the female condom was 68%, although, among users, 31% had difficulties in device insertion, 37% had pain from the inner ring, and 22% reported itching sensations. The main reason for using the female condom in the future was its perceived safety, and the main reason for not using it would be the client's refusal.
Conclusion: Two-thirds of the sex workers were satisfied with the female condom. Difficulties at insertion, discomfort during use, and clients' attitude were potential obstacles to the use of the female condom in the future.