Several times a year, CBAS distributes an electronic newsletter to subscribers. The newsletter is designed to keep subscribers abreast of new research, activities in the field, and relevant events. Recipients are encouraged to share the newsletter with others. If you have input on the content of the newsletter or have an item of interest to include, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: We are always updating our research listings on the CBAS website. Please contact us at email@example.com with study updates or information on new research related to cervical barriers or female condoms.
DC Female Condom Program highly effective in preventing HIV infections and reducing costs
A new economic analysis conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found the DC Female Condom Program, a public-private partnership to provide and promote FC2 Female Condoms® in Washington, DC, was highly effective in preventing HIV infection and resulted in significant cost savings. Researchers estimated that the intervention prevented enough HIV infections in the first year alone to save over $8 million in future medical care costs, and that for every dollar spent on the program, there was a cost savings of nearly $20.
If you would like to contribute to the chain and are unable to do so in person, you can submit your message online at www.sign4femalecondoms.org or via Facebook. These messages will be transferred to paper dolls and form part of the chain that will be displayed at the International AIDS Conference.
To learn more about the Universal Access to Female Condom Joint Programme, please visit:
(Photo: UAFC paper dolls)
Save the date! Global Female Condom Day: September 12, 2012
Bridging the gap: The development of the National Female Condom Coalition in the US
(By the NFCC)
The 2009 FDA approval of the second generation female condom (FC) gave STI/HIV prevention and reproductive health providers and advocates the rare opportunity to reintroduce this highly effective safer sex tool. To this end, six US cities (Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington DC, and later Baton Rouge and New York State) independently developed new or enhanced existing community-based FC projects. While launching in quick succession, these programs operated in isolation. Additionally, the US lacked a unified vision to increase FC awareness and use.
The engagement of FC programs and diverse stakeholders enabled the development of a coalition solely dedicated to advancing FCs as a viable HIV, STI, and pregnancy prevention tool. The work of the National Female Condom Coalition will continue to result in greater FC awareness, acceptance, access, and use among US women, men, and trans people.
The following are abstracts of research studies on topics related to cervical barrier methods and female condoms.
Exner T, Tesoriero J, Battles H, Hoffman S, Mantell J, Correale J, et al. AIDS and Behavior. 2012; 16(5): 1121-32.
Frezieres RG, Walsh T, Kilbourne-Brook M, Coffey PS. Contraception. 2012 Jan; 85(1): 99-107.
Study design: Thirty-six couples in this randomized, cross-over study evaluated single- and double-sided gel delivery from a SILCS diaphragm compared with gel from an applicator. Couples used each gel scenario during two acts of intercourse and completed acceptability questionnaires after each.
Results: All three scenarios received favorable ratings for ease of application, acceptability and perceived effectiveness. Both female and male participants tended to rate the gel applicator significantly more favorably than either SILCS gel delivery scenarios for all attributes except messiness/leakage and effectiveness. Additionally, about 60% of female participants and about half of male participants preferred the gel applicator to either of the gel delivery systems using SILCS. The preference for the SILCS scenario for pregnancy protection was statistically significant for both sexes. Male participants were also significantly more likely to prefer the SILCS single-sided delivery system to the gel applicator for protection from sexually transmitted infection.
Conclusions: In this study population, participants found the gel applicator to be more acceptable than either single- or double-sided gel delivery from a SILCS diaphragm. Further research of the SILCS as a microbicide delivery system should be implemented to assess its acceptability among study populations that reflect diverse potential user groups such as women and men from both low and high HIV prevalence settings including HIV-positive populations and with and without experience using female barrier methods.
Haddad L, Gallo MF, Jamieson DJ, Macaluso M. Contraception. 2012 Mar 23. [Epub ahead of print]
Study design: We performed a secondary data analysis of a randomized crossover trial of male and female condoms among 108 couples.
Results: Self-reported duration and activeness of coital acts were significantly different for uses of the male condom compared to uses of the female condom. Fewer individuals reported ejaculation occurring with the female condom. Reliability of self-reports of ejaculation compared to a biological marker of semen detected inside the used male and female condoms was not strong.
Conclusions: We found that sexual behaviors appear to differ by the type of condom used for the coital act. Studies should consider sexual behavior when evaluating condom effectiveness. Furthermore, studies would be strengthened by the use of a biological marker of semen to determine whether ejaculation, and therefore a true risk of exposure, occurred.
(By the NFCC)
Methods: The National Female Condom Coalition is a partnership of community-based organizations and government agencies dedicated to increasing awareness and availability of FCs. In July 2011, the coalition launched a national FC survey, with the aim of evaluating attitudes and use. The survey was for people of all genders and sexual orientations who had engaged in vaginal or anal sex in the previous 12 months.
Results: Over 2,000 people responded. Preliminary data show that 70% were female, 28% male, 0.5% trans male, 0.5% trans female; the majority were heterosexual/straight (61%), 19% homosexual/gay/lesbian, and 11% bisexual. Approximately 55% were between the age of 20-34 and 67.5% were white, 22% black/African American, and 12% Hispanic. When asked whether they had heard of the FC, 89% said yes and 72% had seen them available. These results differed significantly (P<.05) between cities with FC programs vs. those without. Experience with FCs rated lower compared to traditional/male condoms for vaginal sex but higher for anal sex. Almost 80% said there are barriers to use. The main barrier preventing more people from using the FC for vaginal sex was being “unaware that the FC exists” (81%) while for anal sex, 72% said it was “not knowing that the FC can be used for anal sex.”
Conclusions: Lack of awareness, education, and access has limited people’s use of the FC. This survey provides the first nationwide snapshot of FC attitudes and barriers to use for vaginal and anal sex. These findings will inform the coalition’s efforts to improve attitudes, awareness, access, and use.
Walsh T, Warner L, Macaluso M, Frezieres R, Snead M, Wraxall B. Contraception. 2012 Jul;86(1): 55-61.
Study design: We selected 30 pairs of pre- and post-coital vaginal samples from subjects who reported condom functionality problems or whose original PSA assay was positive. Samples were retested using three different PSA assays [quantitative enzyme-linked immunoassay (EIA), rocket immune-electrophoresis (RIE), and chromatographic immunoassay (CIA)]. We compared the proportion of condom uses where the post-coital PSA result indicated semen exposure for each of the three assays.
Results: Despite varying levels of sensitivity, the results from all three assays were remarkably consistent. Self-reported condom failures did not correlate well with positive PSA results, suggesting that exclusive reliance on either PSA or user self-report may be inadequate for assessing condom functionality.
Conclusion: In combination with user self-report of condom failure, PSA testing provides a reliable, objective marker of condom functionality. Studies based on PSA testing may improve on conventional contraceptive clinical trials by offering a more direct assessment of a condom product's ability to prevent semen exposure.
Zirong H, Junqing W, Coffey PS, Kilbourne-Brook M, Yufeng Z, Wang C, et al. The European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care. 2012; 17(3): 212-8.
Study design: This single-arm couples' use study was conducted in China in 2010 to assess performance and safety of the Woman's Condom and feasibility of mobile phone technology to record adherence data.
Results: Sixty couples were enrolled in this study, and 59 couples completed all four of the condom uses, resulting in 234 condom uses. Two condoms were opened but not used. Total breakage was 0.85% (two non-clinical breakages). Misdirection (2%), invagination (0.85%) and slippage (1%) were consistent with data on condom failure from other studies. Total clinical failure was 4%. Fifteen mild and no serious adverse events were reported during the study.
Conclusions: This study has shown that in China, the Woman's Condom performs well. Mobile phones cannot yet replace the use of a coital log and questionnaire. Further work on effectiveness is required.
Contraceptive Technology Conferences
The Contraceptive Technology 2012 conference was held in San Francisco, CA, USA March 7-10, 2012 and Boston, MA, USA March 28-31, 2012. Chaired by Dr. Robert Hatcher, the conference faculty included the authors of Contraceptive Technology and other nationally known reproductive health experts. The conference brought together health specialists to focus on an array of topics, including new and future methods of contraception, sexuality issues, adolescent health, STI treatment, and flexible OC management. To learn more about the Contraceptive Technology conference, please click here.
The 2012 International Microbicide Conference was held in Sydney, Australia, April 15-18, 2012. The conference brought together hundreds of top scientists in the HIV prevention field and advocates from around the globe for three days of discussion focused on access to prevention technologies, adherence in clinical trials, innovative financing, dual prevention technologies, and new methods of preventing rectal transmission of HIV. Please see below a list of posters and presentations that highlighted diaphragms and female condoms and visit the conference website for more information.
12th Congress of the European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health - Myths and misconceptions versus evidence on contraception
The 12th Congress of the European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health was held in Athens, Greece, June 20-23, 2012. The title of the congress “Myths and misconceptions versus evidence on contraception” reflects that despite dissemination of information, the availability of contraceptives, and the achievements in the fields of reproductive health, there are still misconceptions. The 12th Congress presentations were based on the results of evidence-based research, in contribution to the goal of revealing the truth about contraception and dispelling the common myths and misconceptions. Please see below a list of posters and presentations that highlighted diaphragms and female condoms and visit the conference website for more information.
Date: July 22-27, 2012
Location: Washington, DC, USA
Description: The International AIDS Conference is the premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV, as well as policy makers, persons living with HIV, and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic. It is a chance to assess where we are, evaluate recent scientific developments and lessons learnt, and collectively chart a course forward. The AIDS 2012 program will present new scientific knowledge and offer many opportunities for structured dialogue on the major issues facing the global response to HIV. A variety of session types – from abstract-driven presentations to symposia, bridging and plenary sessions – will meet the needs of various participants. Other related activities, including the Global Village, satellite meetings, exhibitions, and affiliated independent events, will contribute to an exceptional opportunity for professional development and networking.
Date: September 12-14, 2012
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Description: There is growing interest within the global health community in the potential public health impact of integrating different health services into a single delivery setting. Integrating programs for HIV, family planning (FP), and maternal, neonatal, and child health (MNCH) would address patients’ multiple needs at once, and may enhance program effectiveness and efficiency. Integration for Impact, an international conference devoted to this topic, aims to bring together key stakeholders from sub-Saharan countries with a high burden of HIV, unmet need for FP, and high child and maternal morbidity/mortality to present the latest research findings on the impact of integrating HIV and reproductive health services, identify research priorities for expanding the evidence base on integration, and lay out strategies for strengthening integration policies and translating research into practice.
Event: The 5th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights
Date: September 19-22, 2012
Location: Windhoek, Namibia
Description: The 5th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights will take stock of responses to sexual health and rights on the continent since the International Conference on Population and Development, and interrogate the status of sexual health and rights, with particular focus on women, girls, adolescents, and youth. The conference is being hosted by the Namibia Planned Parenthood Association (NAPPA), an affiliate member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) under the auspices of the African Federation for Sexual Health and Rights.
Event: Reproductive Health 2012
Date: September 20-22, 2012
Location: New Orleans, LA, USA
Description: Reproductive Health 2012 is the premier conference in reproductive and sexual health sponsored annually by ARHP. This clinical conference combines the latest research science with interactive, hands-on training and offers take-home points for immediate practice improvement.
Event: FIGO Rome 2012
Date: October 7-12, 2012
Location: Rome, Italy
Description: The FIGO Congress in Rome promises to be informative, innovative, and interesting. There will be new and exciting presentations in each subspecialty area (Gynaecological Oncology, Maternal and Fetal Medicine, Reproductive Medicine, Sexual and Reproductive Health, and Urogynaecology). Problems relevant to work in low-resource settings will be discussed in each of these areas and will also be separately featured. Topics specific to FIGO will include the roles of professional societies in providing leadership and in capacity building, new classifications for tumor staging and for uterine bleeding, and international educational initiatives.
Event: North American Forum on Family Planning
Date: October 27-29, 2012
Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
CBAS Steering Committee
To comment on anything you read in the CBAS newsletter or to contribute a story, event, or news item, please email CBAS.