Institute for Community Research
Project Protect

Project Protect

Project protect

Project Protect

This three-year study explored the level of preparedness for microbicidal products among women (ages 16 and older) involved in high-risk activities (e.g., intravenous drug users, commercial sex workers). Conducted in Hartford, CT, the project focused on the personal, socio-cultural and contextual factors that affected their willingness to try or adopt such methods. It also explored the different reasons women have for choosing among alternative approaches to reducing sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. The project used focus groups with high-risk women and men, surveys, and in-depth interviews to gain information on contraceptive use, familiarity with contraceptives similar to microbicidal products currently under development (e.g. spermicides), and the conditions and factors that affect high-risk women’s willingness to use such products. In addition, a subsample of women was asked to participate in a trial of an over-the-counter lubricant that is applied in a manner similar to that of a microbicide and to report on their experiences.


Please read the project abstract here.


Please read the project findings here.


Mosack, K.E., Randolph-Frye, M., Dickson-Gomez, J., Abbott, M., Smith, E., and Weeks, M.R. (2010) Sexual Risk-Taking among High-Risk Urban Women with and without Histories of Childhood Sexual Abuse: Mediating Effects of Contextual Factors. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 19: 43-61. PMID: 20390778. PMC2905625.

Corbett, M., Dickson-Gomez, J., Hilario, H., and Weeks, M.R. (2009) A Little Thing Called Love: Condom Use in High-Risk Primary Heterosexual Couples. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 41 (4):218-224. PMID: 20444176; PMC2896263.

Mosack, K.E., Abbott, M., Singer, M., Weeks, M.R., and Rohena, L. (2005). If I didn’t have HIV I’d be dead now: Illness narratives of drug users living with HIV/AIDS. Qualitative Health Research, 15(5): 586-605. PMID: 15802537; PMC2910614.

Mosack, K.E., Weeks, M.R., Novick Sylla, L., and Abbott, M. (2005). High-Risk women’s willingness to try a simulated vaginal microbicide. Women and Health, 44 (2): 71-88. PMID: 16537301. PMC2919063

Weeks, M.R., Mosack, K., Abbott, M., Sylla, L.N., Valdes, B., and Prince, M. (2004). Microbicide acceptability among high-risk urban U.S. women: Experiences and perceptions of sexually transmitted HIV prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases 31(11): 682-690. PMC1567977