Preparing for Rectal Microbicides: Sociocultural Factors Affecting Product Uptake Among Potential South American Users

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Abstract

Objectives

We examined views on rectal microbicides (RMs), a potential HIV prevention option, among men who have sex with men and transgender women in 3 South American cities.

Methods

During September 2009 to September 2010, we conducted 10 focus groups and 36 in-depth interviews (n = 140) in Lima and Iquitos, Peru, and Guayaquil, Ecuador, to examine 5 RM domains: knowledge, thoughts and opinions about RM as an HIV prevention tool, use, condoms, and social concerns. We coded emergent themes in recorded and transcribed data sets and extracted representative quotes. We collected sociodemographic information with a self-administered questionnaire.

Results

RM issues identified included limited knowledge; concerns regarding plausibility, side effects, and efficacy; impact on condom use; target users (insertive vs receptive partners); and access concerns.

Conclusions

Understanding the sociocultural issues affecting RMs is critical to their uptake and should be addressed prior to product launch.

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