Effect of Acculturation on the Acceptability of Potential Microbicides and Sexual Risk-Taking

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The objective was to determine the acceptability and use patterns of potential microbicides among African American (AA), acculturated Hispanic (AH), and less acculturated Hispanic (LAH) women. We measured baseline sexual risk-taking and the likelihood of behavioral change, given effective microbicides.


Interview of 506 Mexican-American and AA women, all of whom have a sexually transmitted infection enrolled in Project Sexual Awareness for Everyone.


The 3 groups reported similarly high acceptance of potential microbicides (76%–83% P = 0.24). LAHs were most likely to report they would use microbicides covertly (P = 0.03). Given the possibility of effective microbicides, AHs were consistently more likely to report risk disinhibition. AHs, as compared to LAHs and AAs, respectively, were most likely to report that they would not use condoms, (53% vs. 33% vs. 30% P <0.001), would have a 1-night stand (18% vs. 8% vs. 6% P = 0.02), or would have sex with humans before they got to know them (18% vs. 8% vs. 6% P = 0.01). AHs were also most likely to say they would or probably would change from baseline safe sexual practices to unsafe sexual behaviors if potential microbicides were available. Age was controlled for in the analysis as AHs were younger than AAs and LAHs.


Future microbicides were acceptable among this at risk cohort. Acculturation was a predictor of risk disinhibition and should be considered when tailoring sexually transmitted infection prevention messages, given the advent of effective microbicides.

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