AIDS and behavior 2017 11 16() doi 10.1007/s10461-017-1962-8
Vaginal rings for pre-exposure prophylaxis are a female-initiated HIV prevention method that does not require daily or coitally-dependent dosing. As part of a randomized placebo-controlled trial of a tenofovir disoproxil fumarate intravaginal ring, we assessed product acceptability through in-depth interviews with 18 women during and after 14 days of continuous use. Women reported that the ring was comfortable with few side effects, regardless of experimental arm. However, interest in future use by this cohort was modest for several reasons including: low self-perceived HIV risk; concern that use implied promiscuity; potential for interference with relationship formation and trust; concern for interference with menstruation and cleanliness; and worries about partners’ acceptability and sexual pleasure. Potential issues were raised with duration of use prior to ring exchange. Future studies should continue to identify and address individual and relationship factors that influence acceptability, early in the product development process.