Acceptability of the Female Condom among Vulnerable Populations in the Dominican Republic

Marieke G. van Dijk, Population Council
Diana K. Lara, Ibis Reproductive Health
Daniel Grossman, Ibis Reproductive Health

Female-controlled methods to prevent STI transmission could be useful tools to prevent STI transmission. We conducted a qualitative study to better understand the acceptability and experiences of sex workers and their male partners with female condoms in the Dominican Republic. We conducted in-depth interviews with 18 sex workers, 15 clients and 7 regular partners. Twelve women had good experiences with the female condom (FC). Most women negotiated the use of the method; however, others used it secretly. They mentioned advantages such as: having the feeling of" control” to protect themselves against STIs (including HIV), their belief the FC cannot break, and high satisfaction of sexual partners. Six women disliked the FC because of its unattractive appearance and excessive lubricant gel. All male participants reported a high satisfaction using the FC, feeling protected. The introduction of female-controlled barrier methods such as the female condom improved women’s options to have protected sex.

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Presented in Session 168: Condom Use and HIV Risk