The Effect of PrEP Use Disclosure on Adherence in a Cohort of Adolescent Girls and Young Women in South Africa

AIDS Behav. 2021 Sep 3. doi: 10.1007/s10461-021-03455-x. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Effective strategies to support PrEP adherence among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) are needed. We examined PrEP use disclosure and its effect on adherence among 200 AGYW ages 16-25 initiating PrEP in South Africa to help inform these strategies. We estimated the relative prevalence of high adherence (intracellular tenofovir-diphosphate concentration ≥ 700 fmol/punch) 3- and 6-months after PrEP initiation among those who disclosed vs. did not disclose their PrEP use, both overall and by age. Most AGYW disclosed to a parent (58%), partner (58%), or friend (81%) by month 6. We did not observe a strong effect of disclosure on adherence overall; however, among younger AGYW (≤ 18 years), those who disclosed to a parent were 6.8 times as likely to have high adherence at month 6 than those who did not (95% CI 1.02, 45.56). More work is needed to understand parents' roles as allies and identify ways peers and partners can motivate PrEP use for AGYW.

Keywords: Adolescent girls and young women; Disclosure; HIV prevention; PrEP; Pre-exposure prophylaxis.