Identifying Best Practices for Increasing HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Use and Persistence in the United States: A Systematic Review

AIDS Behav. 2024 May 14. doi: 10.1007/s10461-024-04332-z. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

A qualitative systematic review was conducted to evaluate pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) interventions, describe characteristics of best practices for increasing PrEP use and persistence, and explore research gaps based on current PrEP interventions. We searched CDC's Prevention Research Synthesis (PRS) Project's cumulative HIV database (includes CINAHL, EMBASE, Global Health, MEDLINE, PsycInfo, and Sociological Abstracts) to identify PrEP intervention studies conducted in the U.S., published between 2000 and 2022 (last searched January 2023). Eligibility criteria include studies that evaluated PrEP interventions for persons testing negative for HIV infection, or for healthcare providers who prescribed PrEP; included comparisons between groups or pre/post; and reported at least one relevant PrEP outcome. Each eligible intervention was evaluated on the quality of study design, implementation, analysis, and strength of evidence (PROSPERO registration number: CRD42021256460). Of the 26 eligible interventions, the majority were focused on men who have sex with men (n = 18) and reported PrEP adherence outcomes (n = 12). Nine interventions met the criteria for Best Practices (i.e., evidence-based interventions, evidence-informed interventions). Five were digital health interventions while two implemented individual counseling, one offered motivational interviewing, and one provided integrated medical care with a PrEP peer navigator. Longer intervention periods may provide more time for intervention exposure to facilitate behavioral change, and engaging the community when developing, designing and implementing interventions may be key for effectiveness. For digital health interventions, two-way messaging may help participants feel supported. Research gaps included a lack of Best Practices for several populations (e.g., Black persons, Hispanic/Latino persons, persons who inject drugs, and women of color) and evidence for various intervention strategies (e.g., interventions for promoting provider's PrEP prescription behavior, peer support). These findings call for more collaborative work with communities to develop interventions that work and implement and disseminate Best Practices for increasing PrEP use and persistence in communities.

Keywords: Evidence-based practice; HIV; Interventions; PrEP persistence; PrEP user; Pre-exposure prophylaxis; Systematic review.