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Dean Yang, Taken by Storm

Rebecca L. Thornton photo

Unconventional Safer Sex Strategies

a PSC Small Fund Research Project

Investigator:   Rebecca L. Thornton

This research investigates an alternative method of encouraging safer sex among sexually active students in Malawi. We suggest an alternate form of safer sex: oral sex. Despite quantitative evidence showing that female-to-male oral sex carries a much lower risk of HIV transmission than unprotected vaginal intercourse and comparable risk to vaginal intercourse with a condom, to the best of our knowledge there have been no prior programs that have included oral sex as a risk reduction strategy. This study will investigate the effect of encouraging oral sex as an alternative to unprotected vaginal intercourse. We will conduct detailed focus groups on the acceptability of oral sex in Malawi; we will also examine the effect of information on the use of new techniques and relative risk on the substitution away from unprotected vaginal intercourse to oral sex.

Funding Period: 02/01/2010 to 06/30/2011

Country of Focus: Malawi

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