Greater access to alternative female-initiated barrier methods, such as the female condom, is needed among women exchanging street sex. This study describes knowledge of and experience with the female condom among 101 women exchanging sex for money and drugs on the streets of New York City, and examines the acceptability of female condom use as an alternative barrier method for HIV/STD prevention among this population. Female condom use among this sample of sex workers was found to be related to having a regular sexual partner, living with someone who is a drug or alcohol abuser, not being homeless, using alcohol or intravenous heroin, having heard of the device, and having discussed the device with other women or with a regular sexual partner. Despite decreased acceptability post-use, most sex workers indicated an intention for future female condom use.
"Although women in the intervention group were more likely to insert a female condom 3 and 6 months after the intervention, relatively few women attempted to use it with a partner. The female condom has been found to have variable acceptability in the United States (Hirky et al. 2003; Holmes et al. 2008; Klein et al. 1999; Sly et al. 1997; Witte et al. 1999), and there are a number of issues that may make it challenging for this population. Women with medication side-effects that include tremors or other movement disorders may find insertion of the female condom difficult. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We evaluated the efficacy of a gender-specific intervention to reduce sexual risk behaviors by introducing female-initiated methods to urban women with severe mental illness. Seventy-nine women received 10 sessions of an HIV prevention intervention or a control intervention. The primary outcome was unprotected oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse, expressed using the Vaginal Episode Equivalent (VEE) score. Knowledge and use of the female condom were also assessed. Women in the HIV prevention intervention showed a three-fold reduction in the VEE score at the 3-month follow-up compared to the control group, but the difference was not significant. These women were significantly more likely to know about female condoms, have inserted one and used it with a sexual partner at the 3-month follow-up and to have inserted it at 6 months compared to controls. The female condom may be a useful addition, for a subset of women with SMI, to comprehensive HIV prevention programs.
Community Mental Health Journal 03/2010; 47(2):143-55. DOI:10.1007/s10597-010-9302-8 · 1.03 Impact Factor
"Acceptability studies of the FC have been conducted in both developed and developing countries, although generally with a small number of participants . While acceptability results have varied, women and men in many settings report liking the FC " very much " or " fairly well "  . The study on FC in Australia  indicated that, when compared with the male condom, the FC has high user acceptability. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is lack of barrier method use among sex workers (SWs) in China. Our objective was to find new ways to introduce female condoms (FCs) among SWs, and to increase knowledge of, support for, and use of this method in this population. We used the intervention study method and provided the SWs of experimental groups with information, education, and communication on FCs and provided them with FCs. We recruited 330 SWs as the participants of the study in Enping City, China. The selected 330 SWs were randomly divided into the experimental group (165 SWs to use female condom) and the others into the reference group (165 SWs to use male condom). Questionnaires were used to evaluate the intervention study. At the end of our study, 15 SWs were lost of follow-up, so only 315 were included in the analysis. After intervention, about 97% of SWs in the intervention group expressed that they would use FC in the future. The rate of SWs who reported liking FC increased from 60% at pre-intervention to 94% at post-intervention. The rate of SWs who considered their clients could accept FC increased from 27% to 92%, and the rate of SWs who were willing to recommend FC to others increased from 19% to 70%. In comparison with the first several uses, during last several uses about 80% of SWs expressed that it became easier to use FC. Our intervention increased knowledge of, positive attitudes towards, and correct use of FC in this population of SWs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: A description of the pattern of use of alcohol and other substances among female sex workers (FSWs) is particularly important because of the high prevalence of HIV in this particular group and their potential for transmitting HIV infection to other groups. However, there is currently lack of systematic studies from developing countries like Ethiopia regarding alcohol use visa vis unprotected sex and STIs. Objective: To describe the association of risky sexual behaviour with alcohol use and problem drinking among female sex workers in Ethiopia. Methods: A total of 2,487 female sex workers aged between of 15 and 49 years were randomly sampled from seven urban centres in Ethiopia and interviewed regarding their sexual behavior and substance use. Results: About 12% of FSWs included in this study reported having unprotected sex during the 12 months prior to the interview. A history of vaginal ulcer or discharge experienced by the FSWs was reported by 5% of the study subjects. Those who reported occasional use of alcohol were found to have a two-fold increase in the odds of having unprotected sex compared to non-users: adjusted OR (95% CI) = 2.06 (1.28, 3.33). Those who responded positively to at least one question from the four - item questionnaire known as CAGE, and which is used as an indicator for problem drinking, had a 50% increased odds of unprotected sex compared with zero scorers: adj. OR (95% CI) = 1.48 (1.07, 2.05). Those who reported alcohol use on a daily basis were found to have a two-fold increased odds of having sexually transmitted infections (STIs) compared to the non-users of alcohol: adj. OR (95% CI) = 2.50 (1.35, 4.64). Compared to those who were not literate, educational attainment was associated with a lower odds of reporting vaginal discharge or ulcers in those that have attended elementary education: adj. Or (95% CI) = 0.56 (0.35, 0.89.), and secondary education: adj. OR (95% CI) = 0.59 (0.37, 0.93). Conclusion: Unprotected sex and symptoms of STIs were associated with alcohol use, problem drinking and lower educational attainment. (Ethiop.J.Health Dev. 2006;20(2):93-98)
Ethiopian Journal of Health Development 01/2007; 20(2). DOI:10.4314/ejhd.v20i2.10018 · 0.13 Impact Factor
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