CHARISMA (Community Health Clinic Model for Agency in Relationships and Safer Microbicide Adherence) is a pilot intervention to increase women’s agency to consistently and safely use microbicides while reducing their risk of intimate partner violence (IPV) and promoting healthy relationships.
Microbicides were designed to give women an HIV prevention tool they could use without a male partner’s involvement. However, research suggests that the approval or support of male partners is often desired, or even required, to enable women to use microbicides. Secondary data (both qualitative and quantitative) from the ASPIRE, VOICE, CAPRISA 008, and other trials, as well as a review of primary and secondary analyses of data from six qualitative studies implemented in conjunction with microbicide trials (in South Africa, Kenya, and Tanzania), showed that for some women, microbicide use improved communication with partners, reinforcing product adherence. However, it increased partner conflicts and the risk of IPV for others.