Background: Microbicides are in development for reproductive tract infections (RTIs). However, little is known about attitudes towards microcbicide preference and involvement of the father-of-the-baby (FOB) and grandmothers about microbicide use among pregnant adolescents and young women.
Methods: Adolescents and young women in the second or third trimester of pregnancy were recruited from NYC clinics to complete a survey. Bivariate models tested relevant independent variables (e.g., age, previous RTIs, use of vaginal product or ring) hypothesized to have an effect on product preference (gel or ring) or involvement of the FOB and grandmother.
Results: Of N=116 participants, 66% were ≤21 years and 97% were Hispanic. A prior RTI was reported by 41% (n=47) with 29% (n=32) reporting a prior yeast infection. Most preferred a gel-filled applicator (63%, n=69) to prevent or treat BV instead of a vaginal ring. No independent variables predicted product preference. Majority reported that: the FOB (79%) or grandmother (76%) would discuss the product; the FOB (82%) or grandmother (76%) would give reminders to use the product; the FOB (80%) or grandmother (74%) would go to the store to get the product; the FOB (79%) or grandmother (71%) would support use of the product; and the FOB (59%) or grandmother (44%) would help insert the product. Those who would involve the FOB in discussions, reminders, going to store, supporting use, and/or inserting the product, are also likely to involve the grandmother in those activities (p<0.001). Those with lack of a prior RTI were more likely to ask the FOB for reminders (p=0.025).
Conclusions: Adolescent and young women in their 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy would prefer a vaginal gel to manage BV, and are likely to involve the FOBs and grandmothers in microbicide use. Those who would not involve FOBs and grandmothers may need more directed support with use.