A qualitative exploration of how to support PrEP adherence among young men who have sex with men.

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New HIV infections disproportionately affect young men who have sex with men (YMSM). PrEP is effective in preventing HIV acquisition; however, adherence is critical and is often suboptimal among YMSM. Interventions addressing the unique PrEP adherence challenges faced by YMSM are needed. We conducted qualitative interviews with 20 HIV-negative, YMSM (ages 15-24) with a PrEP indication and 11 healthcare professionals to inform adaption of a PrEP adherence intervention (Life-Steps for PrEP) for YMSM. We explored environmental, healthcare, and individual factors influencing uptake, adherence, attitudes, and perspectives (including desired modifications) on the Life-Steps intervention. Interviews were analyzed using content analysis. Of YMSM study participants (mean age 21.6) 55% were White, 15% Hispanic, and 5% Black. Most YMSM were PrEP-experienced (70%). Healthcare professionals (6 prescribers, 1 nurse, 2 health educators, 2 other/unspecified) averaged 6.9 years of experience caring for YMSM. All described stigma as a barrier to PrEP; YMSM expressed concern around being perceived as "risky" and concern about inadvertent PrEP disclosure if family/friends found their medication, or if parental insurance was used. Difficulty with planning for potential adherence challenges were identified by both groups. YMSM highlighted benefits of a nurse-led intervention (i.e., adding "legitimacy"), but stressed need for nonjudgmental, "savvy" interventionists. YMSM expressed a desire for comprehensive YMSM-specific sexual health information. These findings informed modification and expansion of Life-Steps content. Results highlight key potential barriers, many of which center around privacy. Content that addresses PrEP stigma, disclosing PrEP use, navigating insurance, and planning ahead in a nonjudgmental environment by trusted providers emerged as important components of a YMSM-focused delivery of Life-Steps for PrEP.

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A qualitative exploration of how to support PrEP adherence among young men who have sex with men.
Psaros C, Hill-Rorie J, Quint M, Horvitz C, Dormitzer J, Biello KB, Krakower DS, Safren SA, Mimiaga MJ, Sullivan P, Hightow-Weidman LB, Mayer KH