267271 Critical lessons for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) messaging and program development

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sarit A. Golub, PhD, MPH , Department of Psychology, Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY), New York, NY
Kristi Gamarel, MA, EdM , City University of New York, CUNY, Center for HIV Educational Studies & Training (CHEST), New York, NY
Anthony Surace, BA , Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training, Hunter College of the City University of New York, New York, NY
Corina Lelutiu-Weinberger, PhD , Psychology, Hunter College, Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training, New York, NY
Background: PrEP has the potential to become a powerful HIV prevention tool; however, many questions remain about its dissemination, including its acceptability and potential impact on behavior among MSM.

Methods: This NIMH-funded study is designed to explore strategies for communication and dissemination of PrEP information. This analysis build on the Health Psychology literature on message framing and health numeracy and focuses on two components: 1) message frame (a risk-reduction versus health promotion rationale for using PrEP), and 2) specificity (a numeric versus gist explanation of PrEP efficacy). Participants were randomly assigned to receive different messages in a factorial design, and mixed method analyses examined the implications of message components on comprehension, perceived efficacy, risk perception and risk compensation.

Results: Participants were HIV-negative MSM and transwomen who reported ≥ 1 unprotected anal sex act in the past 30 days. There were significant impacts of both message frame and specificity on: perceptions of PrEP efficacy, motivation for PrEP adherence, personalized HIV risk perception, and temptation for unprotected sex with new or anonymous partners. Qualitative interviews identified both benefits and drawbacks to widespread PrEP availability, including the potential "liberation" from prevention constraints afforded by PrEP use, and the difficulty in association of ARVs with being "sick" with HIV.

Conclusions: Findings underscore the importance of social-behavioral data in the development of PrEP polices and interventions. The creation of effective PrEP messaging must acknowledge an existing socio-political context around HIV prevention for many MSM, which may influence the way messages are interpreted and internalized.

Learning Areas:
Basic medical science applied in public health
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain the role of message framing, risk perception, and cultural context in development of PrEP messaging, public education campaigns, policy, and program development.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Primary Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The presenter is a PhD student who has been working in HIV research for 10 years. She is currently the Project Manager of the project whose data are being presented in this poster.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.