Vaginal microbicides represent an important emerging class of antiinfectives. To guide research and development, we conducted a survey to determine interest in desired qualities of and intended use of microbicides within the current milieu of contraceptive options.
Women completed an anonymous survey while waiting for health care clinic appointments in Portland, OR, and Atlanta, GA, and in one public area (Atlanta).
Four hundred one women completed the survey. Subjects had a mean age of 25.6 (SD=7.4), parity of 1.5 (SD=1.6) and 47.7% were non-Caucasian. Respondents showed moderate interest in noncontraceptive anti-HIV gel-based microbicides (mean, 53.8; SD, 39.6; n=362) and significantly stronger interest in contraceptive anti-HIV microbicides (mean, 89.4 mm; SD, 20.7; n=363; p<.001). The qualities of HIV, pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention were the highest priorities of the largest percentage (40%) of respondents. Half (49.6%) of respondents reported they would use another form of protection in conjunction with a contraceptive anti-HIV microbicide.
A diverse sample of women reported substantial interest in vaginal microbicides capable of preventing HIV and pregnancy, and a smaller high-risk subgroup was interested in noncontraceptive anti-HIV microbicides. Most women would prefer a product capable of preventing HIV, pregnancy and STIs. Almost half of respondents would use vaginal microbicides as part of a dual method.