Examining the Potential of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV Prevention in a Community Sample of Persons Who Use Stimulants Living in the Southern United States.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a highly effective HIV prevention strategy, is currently underutilized by several at-risk groups, including both persons who inject drugs and those who use drugs via other routes. Stimulant use is associated with increased HIV risk due to both sexual and injection risk behaviors. In this study, we examined PrEP awareness and acceptability in persons with biologically confirmed HIV-negative status who use stimulant drugs. We also examined HIV risk behaviors to identify how many participants met behavioral eligibility for PrEP. The sample of 352 participants was 46% female, 87% African American, and 45.69 years old on average. Over half the sample (n = 213) met criteria for PrEP candidacy, but less than 20% had heard of PrEP. Ratings for willingness to take PrEP were high. PrEP candidates reported more frequent and problematic stimulant use relative to non-candidates. Our results show that persons who use stimulants are a high-risk population that could benefit significantly from PrEP. Efforts to increase PrEP awareness among high-risk populations are critical for facilitating PrEP implementation and ensuring effective HIV prevention within these communities.
Towe, SL; Sullivan, CA; McKellar, MS; Meade, CS
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