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Health Commun. 2017 Oct 19:1-7. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2017.1384430. [Epub ahead of print]

Stigma Communication Surrounding PrEP: The Experiences of A Sample of Men Who Have Sex With Men.

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a Department of Communication Studies , Northeastern University.
b Manship School of Journalism , Louisiana State University.


HIV is a serious problem in the USA, particularly for men who have sex with men (MSM). A new means of HIV prevention, called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), has been shown to be highly effective. However, in spite of earning FDA approval, adoption of PrEP by MSM has been limited. The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of a sample of 38 MSM who have adopted PrEP, focusing on communication with healthcare providers and social networks. In-depth interviews were used to collect data. Findings revealed that stigmatization by healthcare providers as well as stigmatization by other MSM was a relatively common experience for participants. Additionally, participants described that a high level of health literacy, health advocacy, and communication skill were necessary to adopt PrEP. Given these findings, strategies are suggested for improving MSM's healthcare and increasing rates of PrEP adoption.

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