Interest in Long-Acting Injectable Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (LAI PrEP) Among Women in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS): A Qualitative Study Across Six Cities in the United States

AIDS Behav. 2021 Mar;25(3):667-678. doi: 10.1007/s10461-020-03023-9.


Long-acting injectable (LAI) pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has the potential to facilitate adherence and transform HIV prevention. However, little LAI PrEP research has occurred among women, who face unique barriers. We conducted 30 in-depth interviews with HIV-negative women from 2017-2018 across six sites (New York; Chicago; San Francisco; Atlanta; Washington, DC; Chapel Hill) of the Women's Interagency HIV Study. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic content analysis. Few women expressed interest in PrEP and when prompted to choose a regimen, 55% would prefer LAI, 10% daily pills, and 33% said they would not take PrEP regardless of formulation. Perceived barriers included: (1) the fear of new-and perceived untested-injectable products and (2) potential side effects (e.g., injection-site pain, nausea). Facilitators included: (1) believing shots were more effective than pills; (2) ease and convenience; and (3) confidentiality. Future studies should incorporate women's LAI PrEP-related experiences to facilitate uptake.

Keywords: AIDS; HIV; Long-acting injectable (LAI); Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP); Prevention; Qualitative research; Women.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-HIV Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Cities
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Preference
  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis / methods*
  • Qualitative Research
  • United States


  • Anti-HIV Agents