African Journal of AIDS Research

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Level of awareness and uptake of the female condom in women aged 18 to 49 years in Bindura district, Mashonaland Central province, Zimbabwe

Tirivanhu Chipfuwa, Ancia Manwere, Margret M Kuchenga, Lynah Makuyana, Estelle Mwanza, Elizabeth Makado, Rumbidzai P Chimutso


Zimbabwe introduced the female condom in 1997, but acceptance was slow. A study was conducted to determine its level of awareness and uptake in women aged 18 to 49 years at Bindura Provincial Hospital, and at Chipadze and Chiwaridzo council clinics. A descriptive cross-sectional study design was used. A total of 242 eligible consenting respondents were selected using simple random sampling. Data were processed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 16. Data revealed that 81.4% of the respondents had heard about the method. Most respondents 88 (36.4%) had heard about female condoms from nurses. However, 53.3% had not received health education on the method from healthcare providers. Knowledge of the female condom was low at 36.3% and most respondents (83.5%) had not used it. The major reasons cited for failure to use the method were unavailability (19.8%) and partner refusal (17.8%). Of the 16.5% who used the female condom only 4.1% used it consistently. Female condom uptake was very low at 16.1%. Knowledge of the method was associated with its uptake (&#9672 = 86, p < 0.05). Pearson’s correlation was used to examine the relationship between awareness and uptake of the method. It indicated a weak positive linear relationship (r = 0.309, < 0.01). A regression coefficient (R2 = 0.095, p < 0.05) showed that female condom awareness accounts for 9.5% of the variance in uptake. This study revealed that women with increased level of awareness on the method are likely to use it. Therefore, healthcare providers need to strengthen health education on female condoms and make them readily available.

Keywords: acceptance, availability, consistently, education, information, use

African Journal of AIDS Research 2014, 13(1): 75–80

AJOL African Journals Online