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AIDS Behav. 2010 Oct;14(5):1169-81. doi: 10.1007/s10461-010-9750-8.

Intravaginal and menstrual practices among women working in food and recreational facilities in Mwanza, Tanzania: implications for microbicide trials.

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Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8RZ, UK.


Intravaginal and menstrual practices may potentially influence results of trials of microbicides for HIV prevention through effects on the vaginal environment and on adherence to microbicide and placebo products. As part of the feasibility study for the Microbicides Development Programme Phase 3 trial of a vaginal microbicide in Mwanza, a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods were used to describe these practices, associations with behaviour and underlying social norms among women working in food and recreational facilities. Intravaginal cleansing by inserting fingers and either water alone or soap and water was thought necessary to remove "uchafu" (dirt), referring to vaginal secretions, including menstrual blood and post-coital discharge. Vaginal cleansing was carried out within 2 hours after 45% of sex acts. Sexual enhancement practices were less common. Intravaginal and menstrual practices and associated behaviours and demographic factors should be measured and monitored throughout microbicide trials to enable analyses of their impacts on microbicide effectiveness.

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