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Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Initiation and Retention Among Young Kenyan Women

Ohiomoba RO, Owuor PM, Orero W, Were I, Sawo F, Ezema A, Jackson-Gibson M, Hirschhorn LR

AIDS and Behavior

The DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, Safe) Initiative works to reduce HIV infection among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) through prevention interventions including Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). Pamoja CBO in Kisumu, Kenya implemented DREAMS. We describe PrEP initiation and persistence in 549 AGYW who started PrEP through Pamoja and factors associated with discontinuation. Median persistence time was 308 days (95% CI 245, 382) with 59% of AGYW discontinuing by the end of the study. The most common reasons for stopping PrEP were lack of perceived risk (27.9%) and relocation (18.7%). In the multivariable model, only age < 18 was associated with stopping PrEP. Younger age was associated with shorter time to discontinuation. Implementing PrEP through DREAMS was successful in supporting initiation of PrEP for AGYW. However, low rates of persistence at 1 year emphasizes the need for strategies to support PrEP persistence if HIV elimination is to be achieved.

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