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Conjoint Analysis of User Acceptability of Sustained Long-Acting Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV

Robert J. Schieffer, Ewa Bryndza Tfaily, Richard D'Aquila, George J. Greene, Alex Carballo-DiƩguez, Rebecca Giguere, Christine Tagliaferri Rael, Patrick F. Kiser, and Thomas J. Hope

AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses

Long-acting delivery modalities of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), such as subdermal implants, are in development. To facilitate end-user uptake and sustained use, it is critical to understand potential consumers' and physician prescribers' preferences about, interest in, and relative importance of different implant features. The ordered identification of these key attributes allows implant developers to incorporate this feedback into product design, which theoretically improves acceptability, feasibility, and user experience with the device. In this study, n = 75 PrEP-prescribing physicians and n = 143 men having sex with men (MSM) at risk for HIV completed web-based surveys that directly compared the importance of eight to nine different implant features, respectively. Conjoint analysis determined the importance of these features, relative to each other. Implants presented in the study were well received, with a majority of physicians and MSM indicating that they were likely to recommend or use them. The implant was perceived as unique, reliable, and convenient, as well as able to deliver better compliance. The attributes most critical to the adoption of the implant among physicians and MSM were (1) the chance of becoming infected with HIV while on implant treatment, (2) the length of protection and size of the implant, and (3) the side effect advantages over current PrEP oral pill treatment. Some concerns about the implant included side effects and the product's safety (among MSM) and the cost or insurance coverage level for the implant (both physicians and MSM). There was also some resistance to the implantation procedure itself.

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