Background: Barrier methods can help prevent STDs/HIV. In order to provide more options for improving sexual health, the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH)-STD Prevention & Control Section has been piloting expanded access to the new female condom (FC2) among men who have sex with men (MSM) and transpersons.
Objectives: To describe the planning, implementation and evaluation of the San Francisco FC2 campaign.
Methods: The FC2 is being distributed free of charge by SFDPH. The campaign is designed for young women, MSM and the transgender communities, reflecting local morbidity. Although only FDA approved for vaginal sex, SFDPH supports the FC2 as a harm reduction tool for anal sex. In-service trainings equip providers with the necessary skills, language, and materials to effectively promote the FC2. Knowledge and comfort surveys were conducted with all participants before and following the trainings. T-tests were used to compare pre and post training responses.
Results: The campaign launched on Valentine’s Day, 2011; between 2/14/11 and 10/6/11 over 23,000 FC2s have been distributed. 170 persons completed the FC2 training. Following the training, knowledge regarding the FC2 (p<0.0001) and comfort with the FC2 (p<0.0001) increased.
Conclusions: Through culturally appropriate promotional efforts, comprehensive skill building and education, and multi-disciplinary collaboration, the FC2 is being promoted to MSM and transpersons and they receive information that increases their confidence in its preventative ability against STDs/HIV during anal sex and their own ability to use it correctly. Required FC2 provider trainings resulted in significant increases in both knowledge and comfort regarding the FC2.
Implications for Programs, Policy, and Research: TD/HIV prevention tool designed for women can be disseminated to local communities at risk through a community-based, participatory, multidisciplinary approach. The campaign materials are available for other jurisdictions to adapt, recognizing that one message does not fit all.