The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3146.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - 10:30 AM

Abstract #58955

A new look at an old method: Exploring diaphragm use as a potential HIV prevention strategy among high risk women

Meredith Roberts Branch, MPH1, S. Marie Harvey, DrPH1, America Casillas1, and Sheryl Thorburn Bird, PhD, MPH2. (1) Center for the Study of Women in Society, University of Oregon, 1201 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1201, (541) 346-5284,, (2) Department of Public Health, Oregon State University, 264 Waldo Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331-6406

The diaphragm has recently received attention as a possible candidate for a female-controlled method that could reduce the risk of HIV/STI acquisition. Research on the diaphragm suggests that this method is effective in preventing some STIs and has advantages over other female-controlled methods. A randomized, controlled trial in Africa is currently underway to test the safety and effectiveness of the diaphragm against HIV infection. Diaphragm use in the US, however, has declined over the last 20 years and few women, especially women at risk for HIV/STIs, use the diaphragm. Given the immediate need to increase the acceptability of physical barrier methods like the diaphragm, it is important to understand how to overcome behavioral obstacles to their use. This study explores the influence of product characteristics; relationship, service delivery and sociocultural factors on the acceptability of the diaphragm. Focus groups are being conducted with 200 African American, Hispanic, and White women at increased risk for HIV/STIs. Participants also complete questionnaires before and after the focus group. Preliminary data from initial groups with African American and Hispanic women suggest that African American participants may be wary of the diaphragm and less interested in the method, even if it protected against HIV. Alternatively, Latina participants appear more open to trying the diaphragm if certain attributes could be changed and if it protected against HIV/STIs. Focus groups with White women are currently being scheduled. Results from analyses with the total sample and implications for the development of new female-controlled barrier methods will be presented.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, STD Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
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.

STI/HIV Prevention: The view from Reproductive Health

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA