Background Cisgender men and transgender individuals who have sex with men (MSM/TG) and use methamphetamine are at elevated risk for HIV and have had limited pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) uptake. The aim of this study was to quantify the knowledge and use of PrEP, identify barriers to PrEP use, and develop a targeted educational campaign to promote PrEP among MSM/TG who use methamphetamine.
Methods: We conducted three consultations with peer educators of Project Needle and Sex Education Outreach Network (NEON) to develop and disseminate educational materials. We surveyed the peers' HIV-negative contacts before and after this work to explore knowledge and opinions about PrEP and to assess the effect of our materials.
Results: There were 221 respondents at baseline (August 2016) and 100 at follow-up (April-May 2017). At baseline, nearly all participants had 'heard of PrEP' (96%) and were insured (97%). However, only 3% had ever used PrEP. Peers suggested educational cards that included a definition of PrEP, adherence tips and that PrEP does not prevent other sexually transmissible infections. Peers distributed approximately 2560 educational cards. At follow-up, approximately half the respondents (53%) had seen the cards, and those who did reported significantly more agreement with the majority of the card messages about PrEP. Significantly more participants reported ever receiving PrEP at follow-up (21%; P<0.001). There was a trend between seeing the cards and PrEP use (P=0.053).
Conclusions: Although we cannot be certain that the effect was due to our intervention, a greater number of the peers' contacts reported receiving PrEP at follow-up, and those who saw our materials were more likely to agree with factual statements about PrEP. There is continued need for PrEP education for MSM/TG who use methamphetamine.