The purposes of this study were to explore gender differences in condom purchasing from CVMs and identify ways to improve CVM promotion.

Researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with 42 men and women aged 18–50 years and living in or near Florence. Techniques from expanded grounded theory-guided data analysis allowed for a constant comparative approach to contextualize data and identify emergent themes.

Three themes emerged: attitudes and barriers towards CVMs; gender-specific purchasing influences and behaviors; and CVM improvement and promotion. Women and men described various concerns surrounding CVM purchasing, illuminating reasons for hesitancy. Focussing on CVM quality and improving product offerings were suggested by participants to increase use.

The study concluded by providing practical recommendations to guide CVM messaging to increase access to and use condoms and other personal care items. Men were cited as primary CVM users, expressing practical concerns surrounding CVMs, while, for women, CVM visibility was as much an advantage as a drawback. Working to promote CVMs requires clear messaging that attends to gender norm limitations, details product safety, and establishes CVMs as a reliable condom purchase outlet.