INTRODUCTION: For the past few decades, condoms have been the main method of HIV prevention. Recent advances in antiretroviral (ARV)-based prevention products have substantially changed the prevention landscape, yet little is known about how popular these products will be among potential users, or whether new methods might be used in conjunction with, or instead of, condoms. This study will use a discrete choice experiment (DCE) to (1) explore potential users' preferences regarding HIV prevention products, (2) quantify the importance of product attributes and (3) predict the uptake of products to inform estimates of their potential impact on the HIV epidemic in South Africa. We consider preferences for oral pre-exposure prophylaxis; a vaginal microbicide gel; a long-acting vaginal ring; a SILCS diaphragm used in concert with gel; and a long-acting ARV-based injectable.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This study will gather data from 4 populations: 200 women, 200 men, 200 adolescent girls (aged 16-17 years) and 200 female sex workers. The DCE attributes and design will be developed through a literature review, supplemented by a thematic analysis of qualitative focus group discussions. Extensive piloting will be carried out in each population through semistructured interviews. The final survey will be conducted using computer tablets via a household sample (for women, men and adolescents) and respondent-driven sampling (for female sex workers), and DCE data analysed using a range of multinomial logit models.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study has been approved by the University of the Witwatersrand Human Research Ethics Committee and the Research Ethics Committee at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Findings will be presented to international conferences and peer-reviewed journals. Meetings will be held with opinion leaders in South Africa, while results will be disseminated to participants in Ekurhuleni through a public meeting or newsletter.