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Female Condom Use among South African students

Project Focus
Education intervention for female condom use among university students

Project Location
Tertiary Insititution

Duration of Project

Project Partners
PDoH, the participating Higher Education Insititution, HIV Center, Columbia University U.S

Project Donors
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Contact Details
Dr Jenni Smit

Project Aim/ Objectives
  1. To develop, implement, and test the effectiveness in a randomized controlled trial a brief cognitive-behavioural intervention versus a standard information-only intervention.
  2. To identify the individual, contextual, and method-related determinants of female condom initiation, maintenance, and discontinuation.
  3. To explore the context of the introduction and use of the female condom for both women and their male partners using qualitative methods, and
  4. To explore men’s attitudes about the female condom and men’s role in female condom use.
Project Activities
This randomized- controlled educational intervention has two phases.

Preparatory Research Phase
Where formative qualitative work including ethnographic mapping on campus to identify campus organisations and venues where students congregate on a campus map was undertaken. Twenty focus group discussions with both male (n=10) and female students (n=10) to assess the beliefs and attitudes about barrier methods, FC negotiation strategies, ground intervention content guide quantitative assessment for FC trial.

A campus survey of 1000 tertiary level students is still to be conducted sin Jan/Feb 2007 so as to understand the social context and characterise the target population, and stimulate interest in the female condom trial.

The Trial Phase
This phase will commence in February 2007 and will test the effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioral skills intervention (two session group) against an information-only control condition (one session group) on short- and long-term use of the female condom and discontinuation of use among 280 women.

Anticipated/Actual Results
  • A good working relationship has been developed with the Campus community including the Students Representative Council, the Centre for Counselling, the Student Health Centre and the Provincial Department of Health. A Community Advisory Board comprised of campus representatives has been established and has met twice.
  • The Ethnographic mapping was done in February 2005 as planned in the project and venues were identified for recruitment. Twenty FGDs have been done and data analysis is currently underway.
  • Training manuals for the actual educational intervention trail have been developed by the partnership and will be used during the second intervention sessions at the beginning of 2007. Data collection instruments for the campus survey and the baseline assessment have been developed and will be tested soon and the necessary amendments made. Ethics approval have also been sought from and granted by the three ethics committees (UKZN, WITS and Columbia University U.S). 
  • Presentations on the study progress have been given at scheduled intervals to the partners. The study team has also participated in several training sessions on barrier methods within the campus.
Additional Outputs
  • 1. A paper was presented at a Population Association Conference at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa in September 2006:
    • Queen Cebekhulu; Jessica Adams-Skinner; Nontobeko Mdlalose; Joanne Mantell; Jenni Smit; Zonke Mabude; Susie Hoffman; Theresa Exner; Mags Beksinska; Zena Stein.   Assessing the female condom knowledge, attitudes and practices among South African female tertiary students. 2006
  • Training manuals for both the intervention and control groups have been developed and are ready for use
Future Plans
  • Complete analysis of FGDs
  • Conduct campus-wide cross-sectional (Jan/Feb 2007)
  • Implementation of the intervention commences in February and will continue until 2009.  Intervention and control participants will be assessed prior to the intervention and at three and six months thereafter. 

Projects in the Barrier Methods & Contraception Cluster:

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