Raising Awareness of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) among Women in New York City: Community and Provider Perspectives

J Health Commun. 2017 Mar;22(3):183-189. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2016.1261969. Epub 2017 Feb 8.


This study explored the knowledge, attitudes, and perceived facilitators and barriers to adoption of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among black women and Latinas in the Bronx, NY. Data were collected in focus group discussions (FGDs) held separately with staff (n = 21) and black and Latina female clients aged 18 to 50 (n = 23) of four organizations providing health and social services. Participants were also asked to give feedback about four action messages regarding PrEP for a social marketing campaign. Transcripts were analyzed by two researchers using grounded theory. We found that the majority of clients (74%) and staff (57%) had not heard about PrEP before participating in the FGDs. Following brief educational messaging about PrEP, participants identified potential facilitators and barriers to PrEP uptake among women, and expressed enthusiasm for more widespread efforts to raise awareness about PrEP as an HIV prevention option. Participants preferred an action message that was brief, referred to PrEP as a pill, and did not mention condoms or STD testing. These findings demonstrate the need to raise awareness about PrEP among women and build the capacity of women-serving organizations to educate, screen, and refer or provide PrEP services.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans / psychology*
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Health Communication / methods
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Personnel / psychology
  • Health Promotion*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • New York City / epidemiology
  • Patient Preference / ethnology
  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis* / statistics & numerical data
  • Qualitative Research
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult