Table of Contents
ISRN Addiction
Volume 2013, Article ID 768258, 9 pages
Research Article

Active Drug-Using Women Use Female-Initiated Barrier Methods to Reduce HIV/STI Risk: Results from a Randomized Trial

1Department of Epidemiology, Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33199, USA
2Center for Research on U.S. Latino HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse (CRUSADA), Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199, USA
3Drexel Hill, PA 19026, USA
4Center for Studies on Addiction, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
5Regional West Medical Center, Scottsbluff, NE 69361, USA
6HIV/AIDS Prevention Research Division, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

Received 1 July 2013; Accepted 2 August 2013

Academic Editors: K. F. Corsi and T. F. Kresina

Copyright © 2013 Erica Gollub et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. We tested an original, woman-focused intervention, based on body empowerment, and female-initiated barrier methods, including the female condom (FC) and cervical barriers. Methods. Eligible women were >= 18 years of age, HIV seronegative, and active drug users, reporting 30% or greater unprotected sex acts. Both controls (C) and intervention (I) participants received enhanced HIV/STI harm reduction counseling. I participants underwent 5 additional weekly group sessions. We compared change in frequency of unprotected vaginal intercourse across arms at 12 months. Results. Among 198 enrolled women, over 95% completed followup. Two-thirds were African-American; most of them used crack, had a primary partner, and reported sex exchange. In paired t-tests from baseline to followup, the frequency of unprotected vaginal sex dropped significantly for I (primary , nonprimary ) and C (primary , nonprimary ) arms with all partners. The difference in change across arms was of borderline significance for primary partner ( ); no difference was seen for nonprimary partner ( ). Use of male condom and FC increased with both partner types over time, but more consistently among I women. Conclusion: The “value-added” impact of the intervention was observed mainly with primary partners. Body knowledge with routine FC counseling should be incorporated into interventions for drug-using women.