Using conjoint analysis to determine the impact of product and user characteristics on acceptability of rectal microbicides for HIV prevention among Peruvian men who have sex with men

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Abstract

Objectives

Men who have sex with men (MSM) are in need of novel and acceptable HIV prevention interventions. In Peru, a Phase II clinical trial was recently completed evaluating rectally applied tenofovir gel among Peruvian MSM and transgender women. If deemed safe and acceptable, the product could move into efficacy testing, but acceptability data for similar products are needed now in order to prepare for future implementation. Peru is in need of expanded, national acceptability data among likely users.

Methods

Using conjoint analysis of an online cross-sectional survey taken by 1008 Peruvian MSM and transgender women, we tested the acceptability of eight hypothetical rectal microbicide (RM) products comprising six, dual-value attributes. We also assessed the relationship of select product attributes with sample characteristics.

Results

Highest acceptability was found for a RM that was 90% effective, used before and after sex, without side effects, costing approximately $0.30, had no prescription requirement and had a single-use applicator. Product effectiveness and presence of side effects were the factors most likely to drive RM acceptance and use. Education, sexual orientation, sexual role and concern for HIV infection were also related to aspects of RM acceptability.

Conclusion

RM acceptability was high, confirming the results of earlier, smaller studies and placing confidence in the acceptability of RMs. Analysis of the relationships with product attributes and sample characteristics underscore the need to consider the impact of factors such as sexual orientation, sexual role, level of education and concern for HIV acquisition on RM acceptability.

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