AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 415–422 | Cite as

Barrier Method Preferences and Perceptions Among Zimbabwean Women and their Partners

  • Jessica Buck
  • Mi-Suk Kang
  • Ariane van der Straten
  • Gertrude Khumalo-Sakutukwa
  • Samuel Posner
  • Nancy Padian
Barrier Methods of Prevention

In Zimbabwe, adult HIV prevalence is over 25% and acceptable prevention methods are urgently needed. Sixty-eight Zimbabwean women who had completed a barrier-methods study and 34 of their male partners participated in focus group discussions and in-depth interviews to qualitatively explore acceptability of male condoms, female condoms and diaphragms. Most men and about half of women preferred diaphragms because they are female-controlled and do not detract from sexual pleasure or carry stigma. Unknown efficacy and reuse were concerns and some women reported feeling unclean when leaving the diaphragm in for six hours following sex. Nearly half of women and some men preferred male condoms because they are effective and limit women's exposure to semen, although they reportedly detract from sexual pleasure and carry social stigma. Female condoms were least preferred because of obviousness and partial coverage of outer-genitalia that interfered with sexual pleasure.


acceptability barrier methods HIV prevention contraception female-controlled methods condoms diaphragm 



This study was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Contraceptive Research and Development (CONRAD) Program. We would like to gratefully acknowledge the participants without whom this study would not have been possible.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica Buck
    • 1
    • 5
  • Mi-Suk Kang
    • 2
  • Ariane van der Straten
    • 2
  • Gertrude Khumalo-Sakutukwa
    • 3
  • Samuel Posner
    • 4
  • Nancy Padian
    • 2
  1. 1.Pritzker School of MedicineUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of ObstetricsGynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.UZ-UCSF Collaborative Research Programme in Women's HealthHarareZimbabwe
  4. 4.Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaGeorgia
  5. 5.ChicagoUSA

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