Acceptability and feasibility of continuous diaphragm use among sex workers in Madagascar
- F Behets1,2,
- A Norris Turner1,
- K Van Damme2,3,
- N L Rabenja3,
- N Ravelomanana3,
- K Zeller4,
- J R Rasolofomanana5
- 1Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
- 2Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
- 3UNC-MAD, Antananarivo, Madagascar
- 4William J Clinton Presidential Foundation, New York, NY, USA
- 5Institut National De Santé Publique et Communautaire, Ecole de Médecine, Antananarivo, Madagascar
- Correspondence to: Frieda Behets PhD, MPH, Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2102-D McGavran-Greenberg Hall, CB #7435, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7435, USA; frieda_
- Accepted 9 April 2005
Objectives: The diaphragm, a woman controlled, reusable contraceptive device, might prevent some sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We assessed the acceptability and feasibility of use of silicone Wide-Seal Arcing Diaphragms (Milex Products, Chicago, IL, USA) by sex workers in Madagascar.
Methods: Over 8 weeks, we evaluated method acceptability by examining patterns of and problems with women’s diaphragm use. We also evaluated several measures of study feasibility, including recruitment and follow up methods.
Results: 91 women from three cities (Antananarivo, Tamatave, and Mahajanga) participated, and 87 (96%) completed follow up. At enrolment, participants reported a median of six sex acts with five clients in the previous week. During the follow up period, participants reported a median of three sex acts with three clients during the previous 2 days, and self reported continuous diaphragm use during the previous day increased from 87% to 93%. Seven women became pregnant (incidence 53 pregnancies per 100 woman years). Self reported use of male condoms and diaphragms was fairly constant over the study period: women reported condom use in 61% to 70% of acts and diaphragms in 95% to 97% of acts. The number of participants reporting diaphragm problems decreased from 15 (16%) at the first visit to six (7%) at the final visit. 20 women (22%) needed replacement devices during follow up because their original diaphragms were lost, were the wrong size, or became seriously damaged.
Conclusions: Given the high use and steady decrease in reported problems during the study, we believe diaphragms are acceptable and feasible in this resource poor, low education sex worker population.
- EC, emergency contraception
- RPR, rapid plasma reagin
- STI, sexually transmitted infections
- UTI, urinary tract infection
Conflict of interest: No authors have any conflict of interest.