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Preferences for a Long-Acting, Removable Implant for HIV Prevention among MSM and Physicians: A Discrete Choice Study

Tagliaferri Rael C, Giguere R, Sutton S, Horn E, Schieffer RJ, Greene GJ, D'Aquila RT, Bryndza Tfaily E, Kiser PF, Hope TJ.

AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses

A longer acting, removable implant for HIV prevention has the potential to improve uptake of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) by removing the need for daily adherence to an oral tablet, reducing potential side effects, and eliminating concerns about residual drug following injections. To end the HIV epidemic, we must understand the needs and preferences of groups most affected by HIV (e.g., men who have sex with men; MSM), and the physicians who prescribe PrEP to them. This article describes a discrete choice experiment to estimate the preference share for the implant within a competitive context of other PrEP products (including the oral tablet, dissolvable implant, and injection) and evaluate the impact of potential implant attributes. Physicians who had prescribed oral PrEP (n = 75) and MSM at risk for HIV (n = 175) completed a web-based survey that prompted decision-making about PrEP product preferences. The findings from both physicians and MSM demonstrated that the removable implant could capture a meaningful portion of the preference share, making it feasible to advance in the development pipeline as an important addition to the biomedical HIV prevention toolkit. Among MSM, specifically, the cost of treatment was the most important attribute impacting product preference. Our findings inform implant developers and future payers (e.g., commercial manufacturers, insurance companies) about specific device attributes that will likely affect MSM's willingness to use and physicians' willingness to prescribe this HIV prevention strategy.

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