End-user input early in biomedical product development may optimize design to support high uptake and adherence. We interviewed 400 couples (800 total participants) in Uganda and Zimbabwe to assess their preferences for multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) for HIV and pregnancy prevention. Using a discrete choice experiment, couples made a series of choices between hypothetical MPTs, including oral tablets and vaginal rings, inserts, and films and completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire assessing sociodemographic and behavioral measures. Most couples preferred presented MPTs over male condoms. Couples' MPT choices in both countries were influenced most by the combination of product form and dosing frequency, with monthly dosing preferred over daily. Analysis highlighted differences by country as to which side effects were most important: Ugandan couples placed greater importance on effects on the vaginal environment during sex, whereas Zimbabwean couples placed more importance on changes to menstruation and other side effects (headache, cramps). Couples' preferences signaled an openness to new product forms and more frequent dosing if preferred characteristics of other attributes were achieved.
Keywords: Acceptability; Contraception; Couples; Discrete choice experiment; HIV prevention; Multipurpose prevention technology (MPT)