How Black men who have sex with men in New York City understand, talk about, and engage with pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
Methods: BMSM in New York City (n=28) completed three in-depth interviews each for a total of 270 minutes of data. Fourteen key informants (e.g. community leaders and service providers) also participated. We taped, transcribed, and analyzed interviews to explore how individuals talked about their understanding of, and potential barriers to, using PrEP.
Results: Individuals reported a number of factors influencing the likelihood of PrEP use. First, men disliked taking medication and felt a daily pill was “too much commitment” just for sex, particularly when they were healthy. Second, men reported that taking a medication associated with HIV might generate stigma. Third, some participants believed unprotected sex would increase if people took PrEP, while others highlighted that PrEP doesn’t protect against other STIs. Such conclusions led participants to question PrEP’s utility. Lastly, participants thought PrEP would be a successful strategy for others, but not for themselves.
Conclusion: BMSM are listed as a key population in the U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy, yet few individuals believed PrEP would be personally helpful. Our research indicates the urgent need to raise awareness and address beliefs and attitudes that could be substantial barriers to the scale-up and implementation of PrEP-related services.
Learning Areas:Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Identify factors that influence how Black MSM understand and talk about PrEP. Describe the importance of raising awareness and creating access to PrEP among vulnerable populations, particularly Black MSM.
Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Sexuality
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted extensive research in HIV, focused primarily on vulnerably populations. My strength lies in qualitative and ethnographic methodology and I am currently exploring how biomedical HIV prevention technologies get taken up by urban minorities.
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.