Purpose of review: Sexually active teens are at significant risk from sexually transmitted infections and girls and women bear the greatest burden of these infections. New methods, such as vaginal microbicides, would provide female controlled options. Microbicides are currently in development and thus it is timely to discuss the progress made and factors that may influence acceptability for teens.
Recent findings: Microbicide development presents many challenges, and several different potential mechanisms of action are being explored. There is interest in these products from women and men, and specific preferences are being investigated. Adolescents, due to reproductive system immaturity, developing cognitive abilities and the psychosocial context of their relationships, present a special set of challenges in efforts to foster microbicide use.
Summary: Vaginal microbicides are on the horizon. Further study into teen issues is required to develop successful strategies for marketing and encouraging adolescent use of microbicides.