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185231 Expanding access to female condoms through HIV prevention and treatment programs: Web-based survey results from 44 countries
Monday, October 27, 2008
Background: Are female condoms being integrated into HIV prevention and treatment programs? If so, how is this happening? If not, why not?
Methods: In August and September 2007, PATH conducted a web-based survey among an opportunistic sample of health professionals to assess progress, barriers, and opportunities to expanding access to female barrier methods through HIV prevention and treatment programs.
Results: A total of 142 individuals from 44 countries completed the survey. Most respondents believed that promotion of male and female condoms is a core element of comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention or treatment programs although only 3% of respondents reported program experience where equal promotion and distribution of both female and male condoms is taking place. Voluntary counseling and testing programs were identified as being the most feasible setting for integration of female condoms followed by antiretroviral therapy programs and then PMTCT programs. Major barriers to female condom integration were identified as relating to policy/advocacy and lack of donor support at both country and global levels. About 65% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that cost of female condoms was the major barrier to program integration. Lessons learned regarding the successful promotion of female condoms into HIV prevention and treatment programs will be discussed.
Conclusions: The opportunity is ripe for integration of female condoms into HIV prevention and treatment programs. Key to the success of this endeavor will be renewed political and financial support on the part of donors as well as the establishment and support of in-country advocacy and policy initiatives.
Keywords: International Reproductive Health, Women and HIV/AIDS
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Senior program officer responsible for implementing social science research and evaluation of international reproductive health technology options. In this specific study, I co-developed the survey instrument and conducted data analysis.
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.
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