Acceptability and Affordability

The needs and perceptions of women are crucial for the effective implementation of a microbicide product. Would a woman prefer using a gel or a ring? Or would she prefer other HIV prevention approaches, such as oral pre-exposure prophylaxis? Additional research is needed to determine the best ways to deliver these products to the women who need them most, without stigmatizing their use. Research is also needed to determine the best ways to involve men in supporting microbicide use, while protecting women’s ability to decide whether to use them and to discuss the decision with their male partners.
Microbicides will not be acceptable if they cost too much. A microbicide’s cost to a user will be influenced by the manufacturing costs, so research organizations and sponsors are exploring options for local manufacture to reduce those costs. Financing will be an important part of this equation.