Adaptation of a Male Partner Educational Intervention Tool for Vaginal Microbicide Trials

In Sub-Saharan Africa, high hypothetical acceptability of vaginal microbicide trials among women has often been dampened by low male partner support. Formative work recently carried out among women in Kisumu, Kenya indicate that despite a high willingness (80%) to participate in upcoming vaginal microbicide trials, more than a third of the interviewees either did not think their partners would support their trial participation or were unsure of his support. This highlights the influence that gender/partnership dynamics have on reproductive health decision-making among women and forms a basis for considering active engagement of male partners during the conduct of vaginal microbicide trials. To address this need, we propose a multidisciplinary approach, involving community representatives and a team of research scientists, in the adaptation of tools used to educate women on microbicides in Kisumu into an educational intervention aimed at raising awareness of vaginal microbicides among male partners (Specific Aim 1). The finalized intervention will be pilot-tested for acceptability and comprehensibility among small groups of men (Specific Aim 2) who will subsequently invite their female partners to the research center for further information about vaginal microbicide trials. The women will be invited to participate in a focus group discussion (FGD) to obtain their views on male partner education as a way of enhancing women?s acceptability of vaginal microbicide trials. Information from FGDs will be analyzed for key themes while descriptive statistics and qualitative methods will be used to analyze data from the men participating in the educational intervention. Through this grant?s support, mentorship and the time spent at UCSF, the trainee will enhance her qualitative clinical research skills (Specific Aim 3), and apply the knowledge in the design of future trials addressing the incorporation of male-partner education into demonstration projects and roll out of successful microbicides.