HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Use and Persistence among Black Ciswomen: “Women Need to Protect Themselves, Period”

J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2021 Mar 17. doi: 10.1007/s40615-021-01020-9. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Disparities in HIV incidence and PrEP use among Black ciswomen remain. We examine factors associated with PrEP persistence using mixed methods.

SETTING: Black ciswomen in Chicago, IL, prescribed PrEP at a federally qualified health center (FQHC).

METHODS: We used electronic health data to determine PrEP persistence (Proportion of Days Covered ≥86% at 6 months) and tested demographic and clinical factors in logistic regressions. We interviewed eight Black ciswomen, purposefully selected by PrEP persistence.

RESULTS: Among 112 Black ciswomen, 18% were persistent. In adjusted models, neighborhood, visit reason (at initiation), and initiation year were significantly associated with persistence. Qualitatively, we found little evidence of cost or adherence as barriers; participants reported low community awareness, importance of providers, and concerns around stigma, side effects, and pregnancy while using PrEP.

CONCLUSION: While persistence among Black ciswomen was low, patients were often making decisions based on perceived HIV risk. We identified real-world barriers to address in future interventions.

PMID:33733424 | DOI:10.1007/s40615-021-01020-9