Vaginal film for prevention of HIV: using visual and tactile evaluations among potential users to inform product design

K. M. Guthrie, L. Rohan, R. K. Rosen, S. E. Vargas, J. G. Shaw, D. Katz, E. M. Kojic, A. S. Ham, D. Friend, K. W. Buckheit, and R. W. Buckheit Jr

Topical prevention of HIV and other STIs is a global health priority. To provide options for users, developers have worked to design safe, effective and acceptable vaginal dissolving film formulations. We aimed to characterize user experiences of vaginal film size, texture and color, and their role in product-elicited sensory perceptions (i.e. perceptibility), acceptability and willingness to use. In the context of a user-centered product evaluation study, we elicited users’ ‘first impressions’ of various vaginal film formulation designs via visual and tactile prototype inspection during a qualitative user evaluation interview. Twenty-four women evaluated prototypes. Participants considered size and texture to be important for easy insertion. Color was more important following dissolution than prior to insertion. When asked to combine and balance all properties to arrive at an ideal film, previously stated priorities for individual characteristics sometimes shifted, with the salience of some individual characteristics lessening when multiple characteristics were weighted in combination. While first impressions alone may not drive product uptake, users’ willingness to initially try a product is likely impacted by such impressions. Developers should consider potential users’ experiences and preferences in vaginal film design. This user-focused approach is useful for characterizing user sensory perceptions and experiences relevant to early design of prevention technologies.

June 26, 2017
Year of publication
2017
Resource types
Journal and research articles
Tags
topical PrEP, HIV prevention, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), PrEP, topical prevention products, vaginal film, multipurpose prevention technologies, user-focused approaches, prevention technologies

Similar Resources

Multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) are preferably single dosage forms designed to simultaneously address multiple sexual and reproductive health needs, such as unintended pregnancy, HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

For persons at risk of HIV infection who practice receptive anal intercourse (RAI), topical rectal microbicides represent a promising option for coitally-dependent protection.

Women globally need access to multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) that prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), sexually transmitted infections that increase HIV acquisition/transmission risk, and unintended pregnancy.

Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW), ages 15–24 years, account for 75 percent of young people in sub-Saharan Africa who are living with HIV.  As many as 7,000 new infections a week are occurring among the most vulnerable AGYW in Eastern and Southern Africa; AIDS is the …

Remarkable progress is being made on HIV treatment. Ahead of World AIDS Day, UNAIDS has launched a new report showing that access to treatment has risen significantly. In 2000, just 685 000 people living with HIV had access to antiretroviral therapy.

The Evidence for Contraceptive Options and HIV Outcomes (ECHO) Study is an open-label randomised clinical trial comparing three highly effective, reversible methods of contraception — a progestogen-only injectable called depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), a levonorgestrel implant and the non…
Results from the Evidence for Contraceptive Options and HIV Outcomes (ECHO) Study were released at a session at the 9th South African AIDS Conference (SA AIDS 2019) in Durban, South Africa, on Thursday, June 13th. The session, which included presentations on the primary analysis, was recorded and…

Gender-based power imbalances place women at significant risk for sexual violence, however, little research has examined this association among women living with HIV/AIDS.

Antiretroviral medications that are used as prophylaxis can prevent acquisition of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. However, in clinical trials among African women, the incidence of HIV-1 infection was not reduced, probably because of low adherence.

There is now a growing body of research indicating that prevention interventions can reduce intimate partner violence (IPV); much less is known, however, about how couples exposed to these interventions experience the change process, particularly in low-income countries.