Study Objective: Genital herpes, which can be spread through oral sex, is an important target for microbicides. We examined episode-specific predictors of young women's receptive oral sex and of microbicide surrogate use. Design: Longitudinal study. Setting: Participants were recruited to participate in a microbicide acceptability study from adolescent clinics and local colleges and through snowballing. Participants: Young women (ages 14 to 21 y) who reported sexual contact on at least 1 weekly phone interview (n = 181) were included from the larger sample of 208 young women. Main Outcome Measures: On weekly diary phone interviews, participants reported whether or not their last sexual contact included receptive oral sex and whether or not their last sexual contact included use of a microbicide surrogate. Results and Conclusions: Participants reported a total of 1042 episodes of sexual contact of which 311 included receptive oral sex and 354 included microbicide surrogate use. Being older, having sex for the first time with a partner, and having given oral sex were associated with having received oral sex during a sexual episode. Being older, being African American, and having discussed the microbicide surrogate with their partner were associated with having used the microbicide surrogate use during a sexual episode. These results indicate that oral sex should be considered in the design of clinical trials. Future studies need to evaluate ways to promote consistent microbicide use in the context of receiving oral sex as well as those factors (eg, taste, pleasure) which may serve as a barrier.
- Genital herpes
- Oral sex
- Sexually transmitted infections
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology