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Barriers to PrEP Uptake among Black Female Adolescents and Emerging Adults

Crooks N, Singer RB, Smith A, Ott E, Donenberg G, Matthews AK, Patil CL, Haider S, Johnson AK.

Preventive Medicine Reports

HIV/AIDS disproportionately impacts Black cisgender female adolescents and emerging adults. Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) reduces the risk of HIV infection; however, structural barriers may exacerbate resistance to PrEP in this population. The purpose of this paper is to understand the characteristics of age, race, gender, history, and medical mistrust as barriers to PrEP uptake among Black female adolescents and emerging adults (N = 100 respondents) between the ages of 13-24 years in Chicago. Between January and June of 2019, participants completed the survey. We used directed content analysis to examine reported barriers to PrEP uptake. The most commonly identified barriers to PrEP uptake were side effects (N = 39), financial concerns (N = 15), and medical mistrust (N = 12). Less frequently reported barriers included lack of PrEP knowledge and misconceptions (N = 9), stigma (N = 2), privacy concerns (N = 4). We describe innovative multi-level strategies to provide culturally safe care to improve PrEP acceptability among Black female adolescents and emerging adults in Chicago. These recommendations may help mitigate the effect of medical mistrust, stigma, and misconceptions of PrEP within Black communities.

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