Identifying Implementation Strategies to Enhance HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Uptake Among Black Cisgender Women in New Orleans, Louisiana

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AIDS Patient Care and STDs


There is an unmet need for HIV prevention among Black cisgender women. From January to November 2020, we conducted formative research to develop locally informed implementation strategies to enhance preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) uptake among Black cisgender women in New Orleans, Louisiana. Following an iterative process, we conducted in-depth interviews (IDIs) with Black women who were not taking PrEP and used those findings to inform IDIs with Black women taking PrEP. We asked about PrEP awareness, social support, PrEP-related norms, medical mistrust, motivation to take PrEP, and potential implementation strategies. Data were analyzed using applied thematic analysis. We established the Black Women and PrEP (BWAP) Task Force—a diverse group of 25 Black female community representatives who reviewed the IDI findings and identified strategies to address these determinants of PrEP uptake. We interviewed 12 Black women who were not taking PrEP and 13 Black women who were taking PrEP. Two main PrEP uptake barriers were identified from the IDI findings and Task Force discussions. First, Black women do not know of other Black women taking PrEP. Women perceived PrEP as a drug for gay men. Most said that testimonials from Black women taking PrEP would make its use more relatable. Second, Black women are not frequently offered PrEP by their providers. Many preferred accessing PrEP through women’s health providers. The Task Force identified two strategies to address these barriers: a social media campaign for women and an educational initiative to train providers to discuss and prescribe PrEP. These implementation strategies require further study.

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