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