Female-Controlled Methods of Contraception and Sexually Transmitted Infections including HIV in Malawi: Examining the Role of the Female Condom and Microbicides

Thomas J. Bisika, University of Pretoria

Dual prevention of HIV focuses on vaccines and microbicides at the expense of other female-controlled methods like the female condom. Ongoing research will not produce a vaccine in the near future, and the acceptability of such a vaccine among adult population in Malawi has not yet been documented. A qualitative study on the acceptability of a microbicide called nonoxynol-9 was conducted as part of the ongoing Preparatory AIDS Vaccine Evaluation studies. A desk study on the role of the female condom complemented this study. The study concludes that the female condom will not exert the desired impact as a female-controlled prevention method. This leaves Malawi with the only one option: microbicides, and recommending microbicides, bearing in mind that people will prefer microbicides with viscosity and contraceptive properties.

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Presented in Session 53: Interface between HIV and Family Planning Programs and Services in Africa