In the United States, transgender women and transfeminine nonbinary individuals (TGWNBI) are a highly vulnerable and marginalized population at high risk for HIV. Despite disproportionate rates of HIV, a striking lack of research exists on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use among TGWNBI. We conducted 30 semi-structured interviews with TGWNBI both on PrEP and those not on PrEP. Questions explored PrEP access, initiation, and factors to increase broad interest and participation in PrEP. Qualitative data were coded and analyzed using thematic analysis. Participants identified five components to increase PrEP use among TGWNBI: (1) eliminating the practice of conflating TGWNBI with cisgender men who have sex with men, (2) recognition of and support for the contextual factors associated with HIV risk among TGWNBI, (3) ensuring the design and development of transgender-inclusive and gender-affirming sexual health programs that include PrEP, (4) active provider engagement and assistance around PrEP, and (5) identification and implementation of strategies to bolster existing community mobilization/activism around PrEP.
Keywords: HIV; PrEP; biomedical prevention; pre-exposure prophylaxis; transgender women.