The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a novel, brief two-session behavioral intervention to promote HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) uptake among men who have sex with men (MSM) who are behaviorally at risk for HIV.
A pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted at a sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinic to compare a brief motivational interviewing (MI) intervention to passive referral only for PrEP uptake.
MSM who scored as “high-risk” on the HIV Incidence Risk Index for MSM (HIRI-MSM) were offered a brief (15-20 minutes) MI-based intervention at the time of STI testing to address barriers to PrEP uptake, including low risk perception, stigma, side-effects, and cost. The initial session was followed by a brief, telephone booster session that lasted <10 minutes. The primary outcome was attending a clinical PrEP appointment and accepting a prescription for PrEP.
Participants were recruited from an urban STI clinic in the USA. A total of 86 MSM who were behaviorally at risk for HIV were enrolled in the study (N=43 intervention; N=43 treatment-as-usual, “TAU”). Participants randomized to the intervention were significantly more likely to attend a clinical appointment and accept a prescription for PrEP, compared to TAU (52.3% versus 27.9%, respectively; OR=3.6; 95%CI: 1.5, 8.9; p=.005).
A brief behavioral intervention focused on the initial steps in the PrEP care cascade demonstrated preliminary efficacy in promoting uptake among MSM who are behaviorally at risk for HIV.