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Journal Article

Women's Interest in Vaginal Microbicides

Jacqueline E. Darroch and Jennifer J. Frost
Family Planning Perspectives
Vol. 31, No. 1 (Jan. - Feb., 1999), pp. 16-23
Published by: Guttmacher Institute
DOI: 10.2307/2991552
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2991552
Page Count: 8
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Women's Interest in Vaginal Microbicides
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Abstract

Context: Each year, an estimated 15 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV, occur in the United States. Women are not only at a disadvantage because of their biological and social susceptibility, but also because of the methods that are available for prevention. Methods: A nationally representative sample of 1,000 women aged 18-44 in the continental United States who had had sex with a man in the last 12 months were interviewed by telephone. Analyses identified levels and predictors of women's worry about STDs and interest in vaginal microbicides, as well as their preferences regarding method characteristics. Numbers of potential U.S. microbicide users were estimated. Results: An estimated 21.3 million U.S. women have some potential current interest in using a microbicidal product. Depending upon product specifications and cost, as many as 6.0 million women who are worried about getting an STD would be very interested in current use of a microbicide. These women are most likely to be unmarried and not cohabiting, of low income and less education, and black or Hispanic. They also are more likely to have visited a doctor for STD symptoms or to have reduced their sexual activity because of STDs, to have a partner who had had other partners in the past year, to have no steady partner or to have ever used condoms for STD prevention. Conclusions: A significant minority of women in the United States are worried about STDs and think they would use vaginal microbicides. The development, testing and marketing of such products should be expedited.

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