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Female Condom Use and Adoption Among Men and Women in a General Low-Income Urban U.S. Population

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Abstract

HIV prevention is increasingly focused on antiretroviral treatment of infected or uninfected persons. However, barrier methods like male condoms (MC) and female condoms (FC) remain necessary to achieve broad reductions in HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI). Evidence grows suggesting that removal of basic obstacles could result in greater FC use and reduced unprotected sex in the general population. We conducted four annual cross-sectional surveys (2009–2012) of urban residents (N = 1614) in low-income neighborhoods of a northeastern U.S. city where prevalence of HIV and other STIs is high. Findings indicate slow FC uptake but also heterosexual men’s willingness to use them. Factors associated with men’s and women’s FC use included positive FC attitudes, network exposure, and peer influences and norms. These results suggest that men can be supporters of FC, and reinforce the need for targeted efforts to increase FC use in both men and women for HIV/STI prevention.

Resumen

Crecientemente la prevención del VIH se ha enfocado en tratamientos antivirales, tanto para personas afectadas o no con el VIH. Sin embargo, métodos de prevención como los condones masculinos (CM) y los condones femeninos (CF) permanecen necesarios para alcanzar una amplia reducción en el VIH y otras enfermedades de transmisión sexual (ETS). Una creciente evidencia sugiere que eliminando unos obstáculos básicos puede resultar en un aumento en el uso del CF y en la población en general, en una disminución en sexo sin protección. Nosotros llevamos a cabo cuatro (4) estudios comparativos (2009-2012) con una muestra de residentes de área urbana (N = 1614), en vecindarios de bajo ingreso, y de una ciudad en el Noroéste de EU, donde la incidencia del VIH y otras ETS es alta. Los resultados indican una aceptación lenta del CF, pero también la diponibilidad del hombre heterosexual a usarlos. Factores en común asociados, tanto en mujeres como en hombres en el uso del CF, incluyen una actitud positiva hacia el CF, exposición en cadena e influencias de individuos y normas afines. Estos resultados sugieren que los hombres pueden ser partidiarios del CF y reafirma la necesidad de un mayor esfuerzo dirigido al aumento en el uso del CF (tanto en hombres como en mujeres) para la prevención del VIH/ETS.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are deeply indebted to the project Steering Committee, including Paul Botticello, Clair Kaplan, Shawn Lang, Lucy Rohena, and Danielle Warren-Diaz, and other members of the project research team, including Emil Coman, Paige Nuzzolillo, Joella Morris, Mary Prince, Zulma Rios and Ellen Cromley. This study was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (Grant Number 1R01MH084724), and was an affiliated study of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (P30MH062294). The content of this paper is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Mental Health or the National Institutes of Health.

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Correspondence to Margaret R. Weeks.

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Weeks, M.R., Zhan, W., Li, J. et al. Female Condom Use and Adoption Among Men and Women in a General Low-Income Urban U.S. Population. AIDS Behav 19, 1642–1654 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-015-1052-8

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