AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 16, Issue 7, pp 1821–1829 | Cite as

Willingness of Clinicians to Integrate Microbicides into HIV Prevention Practices in Southern Africa

  • Cynthia C. HarperEmail author
  • Kelsey Holt
  • Taazadza Nhemachena
  • Tsungai Chipato
  • Gita Ramjee
  • Laura Stratton
  • Maya Blum
  • Charles E. McCulloch
  • Sibongile Mgweba
  • Kelly Blanchard
Original Paper


The first vaginal microbicide was recently proven effective in clinical trials. We assessed the willingness of clinicians to integrate microbicides into HIV prevention practices in Southern Africa, where women face elevated HIV risks. We conducted in-depth interviews (n = 60) and nationally representative surveys (n = 1,444) in South Africa and Zimbabwe with nurses and physicians. Over half of clinicians (58%) were aware of microbicides, with physicians far more likely than nurses to be familiar. Clinicians, including those in rural areas, were generally willing to discuss microbicides, a female-initiated method less effective than the condom, particularly when condom use was unlikely (70%). Fewer would include microbicides while counseling adolescents (51%). Most clinicians (85%) thought their patients would use microbicides; greater clinician familiarity with microbicides was significant for support. Training for both nurses and physicians prior to introduction is critical, so they have sufficient knowledge and skills to offer a microbicide upon availability.


Microbicides HIV prevention for women Clinicians Zimbabwe South Africa 



This project was funded by NIH/NICHD R01 HD046027. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH. We would like to thank Dr. Mike Chirenje and Dr. Nancy Padian for their support. We would also like to thank the research teams, including Tarisai Chirenje, Violet Nyambo, Sibongile Mtetwa, Naomi Lince, Mthokozisi Radebe and Dr. Neetha Morar.

Conflict of interest

Authors have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cynthia C. Harper
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kelsey Holt
    • 2
    • 3
  • Taazadza Nhemachena
    • 4
  • Tsungai Chipato
    • 4
  • Gita Ramjee
    • 5
  • Laura Stratton
    • 1
  • Maya Blum
    • 1
  • Charles E. McCulloch
    • 6
  • Sibongile Mgweba
    • 7
  • Kelly Blanchard
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Bixby Center for Global Reproductive HealthUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Ibis Reproductive HealthCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.Ibis Reproductive HealthJohannesburgSouth Africa
  4. 4.UZ-UCSF Collaborative Programme on Women’s HealthHarareZimbabwe
  5. 5.South African Medical Research Council HIV Prevention Research UnitDurbanSouth Africa
  6. 6.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  7. 7.CASEJohannesburgSouth Africa

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