Optimizing content for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) counseling for men who have sex with men: Perspectives of PrEP users and high-risk PrEP naïve men

AIDS Behav. 2014 May;18(5):871-9. doi: 10.1007/s10461-013-0617-7.


Existing trials of antiretroviral (ARV) medication as chemoprophylaxis against HIV reveal that the degree of protection is primarily dependent on product adherence. However, there is a lack of data on targets for behavioral interventions to improve adherence to ARV as prevention. Information from individuals who have used ARV as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) can inform behavioral intervention development. Thirty-nine HIV-uninfected MSM at high risk for HIV acquisition participated in one of four semi-structured focus groups. Two of the focus groups consisted of MSM who had been prescribed and used PrEP in the context of a clinical trial; the other two consisted of high-risk MSM who had not previously used PrEP. An in-depth, within-case/across-case content analysis resulted in six descriptive themes potentially salient for a PrEP adherence behavioral intervention: (1) motivations to use PrEP, (2) barriers to PrEP use, (3) facilitators to PrEP use, (4) sexual decision-making in the context of PrEP, (5) prospective PrEP education content, and, (6) perceived effective characteristics of PrEP delivery personnel. Addressing these themes in behavioral interventions in the context of prescribing PrEP may result in the optimal "packaging" public health programs that implement PrEP for high-risk MSM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Counseling
  • Focus Groups
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence*
  • Motivation
  • Post-Exposure Prophylaxis / methods*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Unsafe Sex / psychology


  • Anti-HIV Agents