The female condom offers women a potentially important option for HIV prevention. This
study will develop and evaluate a health education program to increase female condom use
among ethnically diverse women.
AIDS incidence among women has grown at alarming rates since 1985. Heterosexual contact is
now the greatest risk for HIV infection in women. Women in the United States urgently need
more options to protect themselves against HIV. Nonetheless, limited prevention efforts
have targeted women. The female condom is a potentially important option for HIV prevention
in women. However, little research has been conducted to identify effective approaches to
promote the female condom as the only female-controlled barrier method available to date.
This study will develop a theoretically and empirically based intervention to increase
female condom use among ethnically diverse women who engage in multiple sexual partnerships.
The proposed female condom skills training intervention applies social cognitive theory. It
also incorporates our extensive previous research that examined female condom acceptability
and identified the attitudinal, interpersonal, and sociocultural factors affecting female
condom use. The intervention consists of four sessions: 1) individual safer sex education
and condom use skills training; 2) group discussion of barriers to female condom use; 3)
group condom negotiation skills training; and 4) individual condom use counseling. The
efficacy of the intervention will be assessed by comparing it to a control condition
intervention that focuses on women's general health issues unrelated to HIV/AIDS. The
control condition intervention has four sessions: 1) individual health education; 2) group
discussion of women's health problems and related risk behaviors; 3) group discussion of
healthy living; and 4) individual health risk reduction counseling.
This study will use a randomized clinical trial design. Study participants will be randomly
assigned to one of two conditions: female condom skills training or women's general health
promotion. All participants will be interviewed at study entry, 3 months, and 6 months.
Attitudinal, psychosexual, and behavioral data will be collected to evaluate the
- African American, Asian American, Latina, or White
- Two or more male sexual partners in the year prior to study entry
- English speaking
- Commercial sex workers
- Planning to move within 6 months of study entry
- Allergic to polyurethane, latex, or lubricants
Kyung-Hee Choi, PhD, MPH
University of California, San Francisco
Wendy Hussey, MPH