WASHINGTON — A single-session intervention targeting increasing female condom use among a cohort of female South African students was linked to similar safe sex outcomes as a more involved two-session intervention, according to findings presented here.
Jennifer Ann Smit, PhD, of the University of the Witwatersrand in Durban, South Africa, conducted a study investigating female condom use among female tertiary students at a school in South Africa. “We compared the efficacy of an enhanced two-session behavioral intervention against a one-session basic intervention to promote female condom use,” she said. “The analysis included 296 women students reporting unprotected sex in the last 12 months.”
There were 149 women in the one-session group and 147 in the in the two-session group.
“The basic intervention looked at female condom use and insertion and included quite a detailed demonstration,” Smit said. “The two-session intervention included the same materials as the first, but also a very robust skills-building component particularly focused on partner negotiation and overcoming resistance to condom use. It included practice using a female condom alone and with a partner before using it as a couple.”
Smit said the interventions were focused on goal setting. “We wanted to institute a process of steps to achieve goals and to maintain safe sex practices.”
Participants were asked about safe sex behaviors and condom use at baseline and then at 2.5 and 5 months after the intervention. “We evaluated differences in sex acts between the two session groups,” Smit said. “The primary outcome measure was the number of unprotected sex acts and number of female condoms used.”
Preliminary results indicated that both interventions decreased the incidence of unprotected sex and increased the number of female condoms used. “No differences were found between the groups in the amount of change from baseline to either of the follow-up points,” Smit said. “This is evidence that even this short demonstration can lead to reduced risk sexual behavior.”
Smit JA. #WEPDC0201. Presented at: XIX International AIDS Conference; July 22-27, 2012; Washington, D.C.
The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.