The attributes of an HIV microbicide may affect its acceptability, uptake and use. Quatro, a clinical study with a qualitative component, was conducted to elicit input from end-users and key informants (KIs) on four different placebo vaginal microbicide delivery forms; fast dissolving insert, ring, film and gel. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions were conducted with young women, their male partners and KIs, to explore acceptability and preferences of the four placebo products, with the intention of improving product attributes, adherence, and consequently, long term effectiveness. None of the four microbicide delivery forms stood well above others as the most preferred. Product attributes; long-action, ease of use, invisibility, female initiated and non-interference during sex were favourable in both countries. Despite preference for the long-action, on-demand products were the most liked by women. Qualitative data from the Quatro study provided rich feedback on specific attributes important to the acceptability of four HIV prevention product platforms currently in development, enabling more informed and guided product development efforts moving forward.
Keywords: Barriers; Facilitators; HIV prevention; Vaginal microbicide delivery forms; sub-Saharan Africa.