Study Objective: Topical microbicides are being developed to provide an alternative method of prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections. Although topical microbicides would be a female-controlled method of prevention, their use is likely to be disclosed to partners. Thus, the characteristics of the partner relationship may play a role in their use. We sought to examine whether qualities of the relationship and of the partner were associated with using a microbicide-like product. Design: We studied 166 females (14 to 21 years of age) who were participating in a 6-month study of microbicide-like products (vaginal lubricants). They described partner relationships and characteristics of the partners. Results: Of the 166 participants, 118 used the product. In bivariate analyses, those whose relationships were longer, monogamous, more mutual, and more satisfying were more likely to use the product. Further, when sex occurred in the young women's or couples' homes, use also was more likely. There was no relationship between product use and whether the partner had a job or was in school or between the partners' levels of substance use. In a multivariable logistic regression with backwards elimination, only relationship satisfaction remained significant in the model. Conclusion: Topical microbicides will be used within the context of a relationship, and characteristics of the relationship most likely will influence use. These findings suggest that special attention may have to be given to supporting use in high-risk relationships and that all interventions to enhance uptake should consider the relationship context.
- Partner Relationship
- Sexually Trans-mitted Infections
- Topical Microbicides
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology