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Vaginal microbicides and teenagers

Rupp, Richard E.; Rosenthal, Susan L.

Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: October 2003 - Volume 15 - Issue 5 - p 371-375
Adolescent and pediatric gynecology

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.

Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, Texas, USA

Correspondence to Richard E. Rupp MD, Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77555-0319, USA Tel: +1 409 772 1444; fax: +1 409 747 0784; e-mail:

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.