Optimizing content for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) counseling for men who have sex with men: Perspectives of PrEP users and high-risk PrEP naïve men

S. Wade Taylor, Kenneth H. Mayer, Steven M. Elsesser, Matthew J. Mimiaga, Conall O'Cleirigh, Steven A. Safren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations


Existing trials of antiretroviral (ARV) medication as chemoprophylaxis against HIV reveal that the degree of protection is primarily dependent on product adherence. However, there is a lack of data on targets for behavioral interventions to improve adherence to ARV as prevention. Information from individuals who have used ARV as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) can inform behavioral intervention development. Thirty-nine HIV-uninfected MSM at high risk for HIV acquisition participated in one of four semi-structured focus groups. Two of the focus groups consisted of MSM who had been prescribed and used PrEP in the context of a clinical trial; the other two consisted of high-risk MSM who had not previously used PrEP. An in-depth, within-case/across-case content analysis resulted in six descriptive themes potentially salient for a PrEP adherence behavioral intervention: (1) motivations to use PrEP, (2) barriers to PrEP use, (3) facilitators to PrEP use, (4) sexual decision-making in the context of PrEP, (5) prospective PrEP education content, and, (6) perceived effective characteristics of PrEP delivery personnel. Addressing these themes in behavioral interventions in the context of prescribing PrEP may result in the optimal "packaging" public health programs that implement PrEP for high-risk MSM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-879
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • ART
  • Adherence
  • Antiretroviral therapy for prevention
  • HIV prevention
  • MSM
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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