• Article

Achieving the optimal vaginal state


Duby, Z., Mensch, B., Hartmann, M., Montgomery, E., Mahaka, I., Bekker, L-G., & van der Straten, A. (2017). Achieving the optimal vaginal state: Using vaginal products and study gels in Uganda, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. International Journal of Sexual Health, 29(3), 247-257. [1931-762X]. DOI: 10.1080/19317611.2017.1297754

Preferences and practices related to the vaginal condition have implications for the use of vaginal HIV prevention products. The authors used qualitative methods to explore narratives relating to the vaginal state amongst women in South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe who had previously participated in a biomedical HIV prevention trial. They investigated women's behaviors related to optimizing the vaginal state, experiences and perceptions of the gel's effect on the vaginal state and on penile-vaginal intercourse, women's narratives on male partner perceptions, and how preferences relating to the vaginal state may have interfered with gel use.