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Sex Health. 2019 May 13. doi: 10.1071/SH18081. [Epub ahead of print]

Drawing from the Theory of Planned Behaviour to examine pre-exposure prophylaxis uptake intentions among heterosexuals in high HIV prevalence neighbourhoods in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA: an observational study.


Background:Research surrounding attitudes and intentions concerning pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among at-risk heterosexuals, women and ethnic and racial minorities is needed to inform programs to scale this effective HIV prevention intervention among these populations. Methods:The study sample includes 192 HIV-negative heterosexuals recruited from HIV testing sites operating in high HIV prevalence neighbourhoods in a mid-Atlantic city. Participants received brief educational sessions on PrEP and completed a self-administered survey assessing sociodemographic factors, HIV risk behaviours and theoretical determinants of PrEP uptake, based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Results:Participants were majority persons of colour (86%), with a median age of 43 years. Compared with Whites, a higher percentage of Black and Brown persons had more than five sex partners (75.0%), used condoms inconsistently (85.6%) and engaged in transactional sex (84.4%). Most expressed positive PrEP attitudes and indicated intention to adopt PrEP, especially if recommended by their doctor. In a multivariable model, willingness to take PrEP if suggested by a healthcare provider (aOR: 4.17; 95% CI: 1.42-12.24) and willingness to take PrEP even if it caused side-effects (aOR: 1.98; 95% CI: 1.01-3.90) were both associated with greater PrEP adoption intentions. Conclusions:A diverse at-risk population was identified through community-based HIV testing. Low perceived HIV risk, as well as PrEP-related attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control were associated with PrEP use intentions. These factors are potential targets for interventions to increase PrEP adoption among diverse heterosexual samples.


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