5147.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - Board 7

Abstract #14925

Cultural background does not predict acceptability of French safer-sex intervention trial using sexual risk reduction, women's barrier methods and "body empowerment" approach: "Femme: Mon Corps et Moi"

Erica L. Gollub, DrPH1, Edward L. Brown, ABD(EdD)2, Michele Savouillan3, Juliette Waterlot4, and Gerard Coruble4. (1) Center for Studies of Addiction, University of Pennsylvania, Treatment Rsch Center, 3900 Chestnut St - Bldg 3, Phila, PA 19104, 215-823-4533, gollub_e@research.trc.upenn.edu, (2) School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, (3) Autres Regards, Marseille, France, (4) DDASS-13, Marseille, France

Background: Sexual risk reduction has not previously been used in French safer-sex campaigns for women. A novel intervention, aimed at reducing the risk of HIV/STD, was piloted in Marseille, France. Methods: A 5-session group intervention built around the concept of “body empowerment”, through increasing knowledge of women’s anatomy, and of the women’s sexual risk reduction hierarchy. Hierarchy protection methods included: the female and male condom (FC,MC) , spermicides and the diaphragm. Other topics include rapport with the gynecologist, sexuality, violence. Group discussion sessions of 2 1/2-3 hours duration were held 1/ wk, over 5 wks and led by an experienced counselor. Women were offered free protection supplies. Assessments included knowledge and behavior items, analyzed by comparing pre-post means and proportions, as well as predictors of retention, analyzed by regression. We evaluated differences by participants’ cultural background since genital touching has varied cultural meanings. Results: 93 women enrolled in the study between 12/97 and 10/98; 52% were of European origin and 42% from families originating from Africa or French territories. 65% completed FU questionnaires. Prior use of MC was only predictor (p=.003) of retention. 56% of respondents had tried the FC at least once; its most well-liked aspect was that the “woman was in control”. Methods’ knowledge scores increased (p=.01). 90-100% said they would recommend the intervention to friends. No differences by family’s country of origin were noted. Conclusion: This approach, used by the French Ministry following its popular reception in Marseille, merits further testing with longer FU for behavioral change.

Learning Objectives: To assess the role of cultural in an intervention focussed on discussing intimacy, genital health and sexuality, and touching the genitals to use women's barrier methods

Keywords: Women and HIV/AIDS, Women's Sexuality

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA