Acceptability and Use of the Female Condom and Diaphragm Among Sex Workers in the Dominican Republic
Council researchers explored the acceptability and use of barrier methods that protect against HIV and STIs among commercial sex workers.
In 2006, the Population Council conducted a study to explore the acceptability and use of barrier methods that protect against HIV and sexually transmitted diseases among commercial sex workers in the Dominican Republic, a country with over 60,000 sex workers and a rising HIV rate.
Council researchers followed 243 sex workers for a period of five months. Participants received female and male condoms and a diaphragm along with contraceptive counseling at monthly visits. Seventy-six percent reported using the female condom at least once during the final month of the study, compared with 50 percent who used the diaphragm with male condoms and 9 percent who used the diaphragm alone. The proportion of women reporting every sex act protected with some barrier method increased from 66 percent in the first month to 77 percent in the final month.
To complement this information, Council researchers conducted additional interviews with 18 female commercial sex workers and 15 clients or intimate partners of the sex workers. Results indicated that nearly all the sex workers and their sexual partners found the female condom acceptable and welcomed having a female-controlled method as an option for protection against sexually transmitted infections; in fact, many preferred it to the male condom.
The introduction of the female condom offers high-risk groups such as commercial sex workers and their male sexual partners an acceptable option/alternative to the male condom for the prevention of HIV/STIs.
Banner photo: © Beryl Goldberg
Acceptability and use of the female condom and diaphragm among sex workers in Dominican Republic: Results from a prospective study (abstract) (PDF)
Lara,Diana K.; Grossman,Daniel; Munoz,Jhoanne; Rosario,Santo; Gomez,Bayardo; Garcia,Sandra G.
AIDS Education and Prevention 21(6): 538-551
Publication date: 2009
Location: Dominican Republic
Duration: 1/2006 - 2/2007
Bayardo J. Gómez (Centro de Promoción y Solidaridad Humana (CEPROSH))
Daniel Grossman (Ibis Reproductive Health)
Diana Lara (Ibis Reproductive Health)
Jhoanne E. Muñoz (Centro Médico Santiago Apóstol de Santiago)
Santo Rosario (Centro de Orientación e Investigación Integral)
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation