Microbicide acceptability among high-risk urban U.S. women: experiences and perceptions of sexually transmitted HIV prevention

Sex Transm Dis. 2004 Nov;31(11):682-90. doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000143113.04524.a5.


Objectives: The objectives of this study were to measure microbicide acceptability among high-risk women in Hartford, Connecticut, and contextual factors likely to affect acceptability and use.

Goal: The goal of this study was to assess usefulness of microbicides for HIV/sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention for high-risk women.

Study: Ethnographic interviews (n = 75) and a survey (n = 471) explored women's perspectives on HIV/STI prevention, vaginal contraceptives similar to microbicides, and microbicide acceptability. Participants (n = 94) in a 2-week behavioral trial used an over-the-counter vaginal moisturizer to simulate microbicide use during sex with primary, casual, and/or paying partners.

Results: Findings showed limited experience with vaginal contraceptives, but high interest in microbicides as an alternative to condoms, indicated by an acceptability index score of 2.73 (standard deviation, 0.49; scale of 1-4) in the overall sample. General microbicide acceptability varied by ethnicity, prior contraceptive and violence/abuse experiences, relationship power, and other attitudinal factors. The simulation trial indicated significant willingness to use the product in various locations and with all types of partners.

Conclusions: Vaginal microbicides may improve prevention outcomes for high-risk inner-city women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravaginal
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Infective Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Connecticut / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / etiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Urban Health
  • Women's Health


  • Anti-Infective Agents