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Drug-Involved Women's Acceptance of Vaginal Microbicides

Under a grant to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Abt Associates assessed the acceptability to high-risk, drug-involved women of delivery mechanisms likely to be used in microbicide products.  Vaginal microbicides are one of the most important categories of women-controlled HIV prevention strategies.  However, their acceptability among drug-involved women has thus far not been assessed. This project was conducted in three sites: Bridgeport, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Study populations included adult women at high sexual risk for HIV through various types of drug involvement (use of heroin or crack cocaine, sexual intercourse with an injection drug user); male injection drug users; and heterosexually active male and female adolescents. Research methods included focus groups with all of the study populations to assess the factors making for acceptance or rejection of these types of productions; small "product trials" in which women were asked to try out three products over a three-week period and report on their experience with the products; and a larger survey of drug-involved women in the same three sites to validate the factors identified in the focus groups and product trials. For more information on this study contact Dr. Theodore Hammett, Project Director,