TitleExploring diaphragm use as a potential HIV prevention strategy among women in the United States at risk.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsHarvey, SM, Branch, M, Thorburn, S, Warren, J, Casillas, A
JournalAIDS education and prevention : official publication of the International Society for AIDS Education
Date Published2008 Apr
KeywordsUnited States

Given the immediate need for physical cervical barrier methods like the diaphragm to protect against HIV/STIs, understanding what factors influence the acceptability of these products and how to overcome obstacles to their use is important. We explored perceptions of the diaphragm and factors that might enhance its acceptability in 25 focus groups with racially/ethnically diverse young women in the U.S. at risk for HIV/STIs (N = 140). Women believed the diaphragm has positive attributes, and most indicated they would be more likely to use the diaphragm if they were confident they could use it correctly and it protected against HIV. They also considered it messy to use and difficult to insert or remove. Findings suggest that the diaphragm could be a desirable option for pregnancy and disease prevention for some women at risk for HIV/STIs. Although disadvantages to diaphragm use were identified, many could be eliminated through changes in product design and provider intervention.