Awareness and Acceptability of Female Condoms Among Monogamous Hong Kong Chinese Female Sexually Transmitted Infection Patients
Female condom is an effective means of HIV prevention. Monogamous female sexually transmitted infection (STI) patients are exposed indirectly to high risk of contracting HIV/STI via their sole male sex partners. There are few interventions to protect such women whilst female condom use is a potential means of self-protection. With informed consent, this cross-sectional study investigated the prevalence of awareness and acceptability of female condoms among 335 Chinese monogamous female STI patients attending a government STI clinic in Hong Kong. Among those who were aware of female condoms (66.9 % of the sample), 68.3 % were willing to use free female condoms. Awareness was associated with having the sex partner being a boyfriend (OR = 3.76, P < 0.001), knowledge about asymptomatic property of HIV (OR = 2.14, P = 0.006) and no immunity for STI (OR = 2.14, P = 0.011), experience of HIV antibody testing (OR = 2.21, P = 0.004) and unemployment (OR = 0.50, P = 0.011). Among those who had heard of female condoms, acceptability was associated with knowledge about possibility to contracting two STI concomitantly (OR = 2.26, P = 0.03) and perceived chance of contracting STI from the sex partner in the coming 6 months (OR = 2.27, P = 0.04). Awareness is relatively low but the prevalence of acceptability is encouraging. Female condoms have been underused and should be promoted among monogamous female STI patients as a means of empowerment as an option for sex protection.
KeywordsFemale condom Awareness Acceptability Monogamous STI females HIV/STI prevention
The authors gratefully acknowledge Hong Kong Council for the AIDS Trust Fund, Department of Health, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, C.H.O.I.C.E and Hong Kong Federation of Women’s Centers for their support. We also wish to acknowledge the following people for their support of this study: the women who kindly agreed to the study, the doctors and nurses from the Social Hygiene Clinic in Yau Ma Tei (YMT) in Hong Kong who distributed part of field surveys and qualitative research, and thank all others who supported the project with data processing and data analysis.
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