Future HIV Prevention Options for Men Who Have Sex with Men: Intention to Use a Potential Microbicide During Anal Intercourse
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Development of an effective rectal microbicide holds promise for HIV prevention. This study examined men's personal efficacy standards (i.e., preferences about product efficacy) for a future rectal microbicide and intentions to use it during anal intercourse. Three hundred eighty-five men who have sex with men, sampled in West Hollywood, completed a behavioral questionnaire, read a detailed description of a potential rectal microbicide gel, and expressed their preferences about product efficacy and intended use. On average, participants wanted a microbicide gel to be 84% effective in preventing HIV infection before they would use it as the only means of protection during anal intercourse; 53% of the men wanted the gel to be at least 95% effective. In multivariate analyses, intention to use the gel by itself was associated with higher efficacy standards for the microbicide, negative attitudes about using condoms, and a history of unprotected anal intercourse. Thirty-seven percent of the men who always used a condom during anal sex in the past year said they would be more likely to use a microbicide gel than a condom in the future; however, 85% of this subgroup wanted the gel to offer protection comparable to a condom before they would use it alone. In conclusion, an effective rectal microbicide may have a sizable public health benefit because it provides an alternative for men who dislike condoms.
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