Background: Female condoms (FC) are integral components of sexually transmitted infections (STI) and HIV/AIDS
prevention. There is a dearth of literature on the level of FC utilization in Ethiopia.
Objective : The objective of this study was to assess awareness, attitude and willingness to use FC among college female
students in Harar town.
Methods: Institution based cross-sectional study was conducted using quantitative and qualitative methods. A total of 844
female college students in Harar town, East Ethiopia participated in the study in March, 2010. A multistage sampling
technique was used to identify study subjects from the eight colleges. Data were collected by trained personnel using a pretested
Result: From the total of 844 students, 794(94%) participated in the study. A total of 663 (83.5%) students had heard of FC
and only 3.3% of students had experience of using FC. Almost half of the students had positive attitude towards FC and 40.9%
of students were willing to use FC. Students living outside the campus (OR= 0.38, 95% CI: CI 0.15, 0.93) and students who
had no sexual experience (OR= 0.36, 95% CI: 0.26, 0.50) were less likely to be willing to use FC. Students who had poor
knowledge about modes of HIV transmission (OR= 1.43, 95% CI: 1.04, 1.98), and students who had positive attitude
towards FC (OR= 5.99, 95%: CI 4.31, 8.34) were more likely to be willing to use FC. The qualitative findings revealed that
FC was not widely available in most of the health institutions and the students were not willing to use female condoms due to
the rampant negative attitude.
Conclusion: Unavailability and negative attitude were the major barriers of FC utilization. The Ministry of Health and
partner organizations should promote the benefit and use of FC in the prevention of HIV and other STI (Ethiopian Journal of
Reproductive Health , 2012,6(1): 30-36).