Summary: To assess women's interests and concerns regarding participation in trials of microbicides in Chiang Rai, Thailand, we administered structured questionnaires. Before answering the questionnaire, women attended an educational session on microbicides and clinical trials. Of 370 participants, 82% correctly answered 8 or more of the 11 overall comprehension questions, indicating an adequate knowledge base among the women from which to answer questions about attitudes toward microbicide trials. The most common motivations for participating in a trial were "getting tested for HIV" and "doing something good for women's health." The greatest barrier to participation was women's fear that if they proposed use of a microbicide, their husbands might feel protected and thereby have more sex partners. Overall, 6.2% said they would be "definitely willing to participate," and 66.8% said they wanted to participate but wanted to think about it. Most women previously unacquainted with the concept of microbicides or clinical trial design displayed adequate knowledge of these subjects after the short educational session. If women's initial reactions are validated by actual willingness, surveys could prove valuable for selecting sites for microbicide trials, estimating enrollment rates, and tailoring trials to make them most acceptable to women.
(C) 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.