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.