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Pathways to HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Among Women Prescribed PrEP at an Urban Sexual Health Clinic

Park, Connie J., MD; Taylor, Tonya N., PhD, MS; Gutierrez, Nataly Rios, BA; Zingman, Barry S., MD; Blackstock, Oni J., MD, MHS*

Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care: May-June 2019 - Volume 30 - Issue 3 - p 321–329
doi: 10.1097/JNC.0000000000000070
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Little is known about real-world facilitators of and barriers to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) uptake among women prescribed PrEP. We sought to characterize the pathway to PrEP uptake and continuation in women prescribed PrEP at an urban sexual health-focused clinic. We conducted semi-structured individual interviews with 14 women from October 2016 to May 2017. Using grounded theory and the constant comparative method, we found that self-perceived HIV risk, learning about PrEP through trusted sources, having positive interactions with PrEP providers, and insurance coverage were facilitators of PrEP uptake and continuation. Concerns about PrEP safety, misinformation about PrEP eligibility and appropriateness, lack of insurance coverage, and pharmacy impediments were key barriers. The confluence of these issues led to PrEP rumination, a process of ongoing deliberation about the benefits and risks of PrEP. These findings provide important insights about how to increase PrEP uptake among women at high risk of HIV infection.

Connie J. Park, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, USA. Tonya N. Taylor, PhD, MS, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA. Nataly Rios Gutierrez, BA, is a Study Coordinator, Division of General Internal Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, USA. Barry S. Zingman, MD, is a Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, USA. Oni J. Blackstock, MD, MHS, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, USA.

Corresponding author: Oni J. Blackstock, e-mail: oblackstock@yahoo.com

Sponsorships or competing interests that may be relevant to content are disclosed at the end of this article.

© 2019 Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
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