Young Women’s Ratings of Three Placebo Multipurpose Prevention Technologies for HIV and Pregnancy Prevention in a Randomized, Cross-Over Study in Kenya and South Africa
End-user input is critical to inform development of multipurpose prevention technology (MPT) products that prevent HIV and pregnancy. The TRIO Study, conducted in Kenya and South Africa, enrolled 277 HIV-negative women aged 18–30 in a randomized cross-over study to use each placebo MPT (daily oral tablets, monthly injections, and monthly vaginal ring) for one month. At the end of each month, participants rated how much they liked using the product on a 5-point Likert scale (5 = liked very much). We compared mean ratings using paired t-tests and examined sociodemographic-, attribute-, and behavior-related characteristics associated with ratings using multivariable linear regression and data from in-depth interviews. After use, mean ratings were significantly higher for injections [4.3 (SD = 1.0)] compared with tablets [3.0 (SD = 1.3)] and rings [3.3 (SD = 1.4)] (p < 0.001); mean ratings for rings were significantly higher than for tablets (p = 0.013). Mean ratings of a hypothetical active MPT increased for all products after the one-month period of use, with the greatest increase for rings, the least familiar product. In multivariable analysis, acceptability of key product attributes (e.g., product look) were associated with a significant increase of ≥ 1 point in the mean rating across all three products (p ≤ 0.001). Perceived ability to use the product without partner knowledge was associated with a higher mean rating for rings (b = 0.50; p = 0.006). The acceptability of product attributes contributed significantly to the rating of all products, highlighting the value of choice in pregnancy and HIV prevention to accommodate diverse users.