Awareness of and attitudes toward pre-exposure prophylaxis among African American women living in low-income neighborhoods in a Southeastern city

AIDS Care. 2021 Feb;33(2):239-243. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2020.1769834. Epub 2020 May 25.


African American women in the South are disproportionately affected by HIV but have often been ignored in HIV prevention efforts, including in the rollout of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). To inform strategies to promote PrEP awareness and access in this population, we conducted a venue-based community survey with 53 African American women living in low-income neighborhoods of a Southeastern city to understand women's knowledge of and attitudes toward PrEP. Awareness of PrEP was very low (37%) with only 16% being aware that PrEP is used for HIV prevention. The vast majority of women (85%) reported that they would use or would consider using PrEP, most frequently citing a general interest in HIV prevention or a lack of awareness of their partners' HIV status as motivations for their interest. Some women expressed concerns about side effects or low perceived HIV risk as disincentives for PrEP use. Information regarding side effects and HIV risk assessments will be needed to ensure the acceptable delivery of PrEP in this population.

Keywords: African American; PrEP; Southeastern US; awareness; women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-HIV Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use
  • Black or African American / psychology*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / ethnology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Poverty Areas*
  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis*
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Sexual Partners


  • Anti-HIV Agents