In many countries and regions of the world, young people (ages 10-24) experience early marriage followed directly by pressure to bear children, making young married women (YMW) a cohort with particularly high fertility rates, high unmet need for contraception, and high rates of closely spaced pregnancies. Young married women and first-time parents (FTPs) face a unique set of challenges to living healthy sexual and reproductive lives—challenges that are different to those faced by unmarried adolescents, older married women or older parents.
Microbicides are substances that are being tested to help prevent the sexual transmission of HIV. Vaginal microbicides are intended as an HIV prevention option for women that, unlike male condoms, would not require negotiation with a partners. Rectal microbicides could be used by both men and women to reduce the risk of HIV infection during anal sex.