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Arch Sex Behav. 2019 Oct 10. doi: 10.1007/s10508-019-1429-2. [Epub ahead of print]

PrEP Awareness, Uptake, Barriers, and Correlates Among Adolescents Assigned Male at Birth Who Have Sex with Males in the U.S.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 625 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1400, Chicago, IL, 60611, USA. kathryn.macapagal@northwestern.edu.
2
Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA. kathryn.macapagal@northwestern.edu.
3
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA. kathryn.macapagal@northwestern.edu.
4
Department of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 625 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1400, Chicago, IL, 60611, USA.
5
Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA.
6
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA.

Abstract

In May 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration approved daily oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for adolescents under age 18. Although this is an important step toward HIV prevention for adolescents assigned male at birth who have sex with males (AMSM), limited research exists to gauge their awareness of PrEP as a prevention option. Additionally, the attitudes and perceived barriers regarding PrEP among this population have not been well studied. We conducted an online survey from February to April 2018, in which 219 AMSM age 15-17 read a description of PrEP, and then answered questions about PrEP awareness, perceived barriers, and demographic and behavioral correlates. A slight majority (54.8%) had heard of PrEP before, and 56.1% did not know how they would access PrEP. Of those who had heard of PrEP, 2.5% had ever used it. Most had first learned about PrEP online, through media or geosocial networking (GSN) applications to meet male partners. Those who had heard of PrEP were more likely to be older, to have used GSN applications, and to have greater HIV knowledge. Not knowing how to access PrEP was predicted by having had more partners, lower HIV knowledge, and never having talked to a provider about PrEP. Believing that one could not afford PrEP was predicted by greater perceived risk of HIV. Findings suggest moderate awareness of PrEP among AMSM, that youth at greater risk of HIV may perceive greater barriers, and that online spaces can play a significant role in increasing PrEP knowledge and reducing implementation barriers.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescent sexual behavior; HIV/AIDS; Men who have sex with men; Pre-exposure prophylaxis; Sexual and gender minorities; Sexual orientation

PMID:
31602584
DOI:
10.1007/s10508-019-1429-2

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