Main Article Content
MSM, PrEP, uptake, intervention
Background and objective
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) uptake has been suboptimal. Sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics provide important opportunities to scale PrEP uptake.
Material and methods
To inform the development of a brief intervention to enhance PrEP uptake in STD clinics, we conducted 32 qualitative interviews to explore barriers and facilitators of PrEP uptake among PrEP eligible, PrEP naïve, and men who have sex with men (MSM) presenting for STD screening services. We also solicited input for intervention components to enhance PrEP uptake at STD clinics.
Most participants’ self-perceived HIV risks were low despite reporting unprotected anal intercourse. Many were reluctant to take any medications, expressed apprehension about perceived side effects of PrEP, and were unaware of how to obtain PrEP. Participants recommended that interventions focusing on enhancing PrEP uptake in STD clinics should include: culturally tailored educational materials about PrEP, informational graphics indicating PrEP’s relative efficacy in reducing HIV transmission risks, and comprehensive PrEP navigation. Most participants did not feel strongly about gender, race or ethnicity of providers; however, nearly all preferred gay affirming providers. Brief interventions to enhance PrEP uptake among MSM in STD clinics should include efforts to raise self-awareness of HIV risk, provide information about PrEP’s efficacy relative to other interventions, underscore PrEP’s relatively few side effects, and provide culturally tailored messaging.
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