ImQuest Publication Highlight: HIV Prevention Product Development

Designing Dual Compartment HIV Prevention Products: Women’s Sensory Perceptions and Experiences of Suppositories for Rectal and Vaginal Use

ImQuest published an article in AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses . See the abstract below:


Dual compartment suppositories are being developed to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Such products, for use in the rectum, the vagina, or both, could have a significant public health impact by decreasing global incidence of these diseases. In this study, 16 women each used two rheologically distinct suppositories in their vagina and rectum. User Sensory Perception and Experience (USPE) scales assessed sensory experiences during sexual activity to understand whether, and how, women perceive formulation properties in the vagina and rectum. Qualitative data from individual in-depth interviews captured women’s descriptions and comparisons of the experiences. Significant differences and large Cohen’s d effect sizes between vaginal and rectal experiences of suppository-A were found for three scales: Application (APP): Product AwarenessSEX: Initial Penetration; and SEX: Effortful. Qualitative data provided user experience details that credibly align with these score differences. Near significant differences and large effect sizes were found for two additional scales: SEX: Perceived Wetness with suppository-A and SEX: Messiness with suppository-B. In addition, other scale scores showed medium-to-large effect sizes that correspond to hypothesized sensations associated with biophysical properties of the suppositories. Statistical significance combined with large effect sizes and qualitative data accurately represent the hypothesized perceptibility of suppository properties and identifies performance characteristics relevant to acceptability and adherence; together these data provide discernment of factors that can guide the development of dual compartment products.

Guthrie et al.

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