This study is designed to prepare for the implementation of a second study, HPTN 035: A Phase II/III Safety and Effectiveness Study of the Vaginal Microbicides BufferGel and PRO 2000/5 Gel (P) for the Prevention of HIV Infection in Women. HPTN 035 requires an average HIV seroincidence rate of 5-6 percent among enrolled participants. The primary objective of the present study is to estimate the rates of HIV seroincidence among women targeted for inclusion in HPTN 035.
Women will be enrolled in this study for 6 to 12 months. Study visits will take place monthly. At each visit, participants will complete a medical/menstrual history and undergo pregnancy testing. Each quarter, participants will undergo a structured interview about sexual practices and will receive HIV and STD tests, education, and counseling. Participants will also undergo a pelvic exam with wet mount testing for bacterial vaginosis, candidiasis, and trichomoniasis. Colposcopic evaluations will be performed at selected sites. Pap smears will be performed at sites with the capacity and expertise to prepare and interpret the smears and provide appropriate follow-up care to participants with abnormal results.