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“It’s Very Inconvenient for Me”: A Mixed-Method Study Assessing Barriers and Facilitators of Adolescent Sexual Minority Males Attending PrEP Follow-Up Appointments

Christopher Owens, Kevin Moran, Melissa Mongrella, David A. Moskowitz, Brian Mustanski & Kathryn Macapagal

AIDS and Behavior

Researching PrEP retention in adolescent sexual minority men (ASMM) is critical to increasing persistence of PrEP in this priority population, yet this research is lacking. ASMM (N = 1433) completed a baseline survey for an online HIV prevention program between 2018 and 2020. Open- and closed-ended survey items identified their beliefs about attending 3-month PrEP follow-up appointments and examined the association of Andersen’s Behavioral Model factors (predisposing, enabling, and need) and confidence to attend these appointments. Qualitative and quantitative findings show that perceived parental support is a salient factor in ASMM attending PrEP follow-up appointments. Participants did not want to have to go to the doctor and get bloodwork done trimonthly, and qualitative findings elucidated rationales for this, such as perceptions that follow-ups might be time-consuming, costly, and could out their sexuality to their parents. This study suggests that parents are gatekeepers for ASMM to initiate and sustain the PrEP care continuum.

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