Efficacy of Barrier Methods for Women at High HIV Risk

James A. Inciardi, Principal Investigator
Lana D. Harrison, Co-Principal Investigator

Initiated: 1994

Funding Source: National Institute of Drug Abuse

Project Summary:

This project tested the acceptability and efficacy of the Reality ™ Vaginal Pouch (the female condom) among a population of Delaware women at high risk for HIV and other STD acquisition and transmission. The methodology entailed a 3-year exploratory design, in which 250 female prison inmates eligible for release were recruited over a 15 month period to participate in the project. The women completed a 20-hour health and HIV education program which included instruction in the areas o f self-esteem, basic health and gynecological care, stress reduction, accessing resources in the community upon release from prison, and HIV/STD risk reduction methods, including use and negotiating the use of the female condom. Female and male condoms were available to all participants free of charge for one year following release from prison. Women were followed for 16 months to evaluate their use of the female condom and other HIV risk-reduction methods.