Living at the Confluence of Stigmas: PrEP Awareness and Feasibility Among People Who Inject Drugs in Two Predominantly Rural States

Gregory Carter, Beth Meyerson, Patrick Rivers, Richard Crosby, Carrie Lawrence, Summer Dawn Cope, David DeBruicker, Steven Levin, Whitney Meeks, Christopher Thomas, Brooklyne Turner, Chris Abert, Haley Coles, Alicia Allen, Eduardo Gonzalez-Fagoaga, Ravi Grivois-Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

We explored knowledge, beliefs, and acceptability of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention with reference to stigma among people who inject drugs (PWID) in two predominately rural U.S. states. We conducted interviews with 65 current or former PWID aged 18 years or older and living in Arizona or Indiana. Most (63%) of the interviewees were not aware of PrEP. They often confused PrEP with HIV treatment, and many believed that PrEP was only for sexual risk or gay sexual risk. Once they understood that PrEP was recommended for PWID, the participants held a positive view of PrEP and felt that a once-daily pill was feasible. Experiences of stigma about drug use remained a crucial barrier to accessing healthcare and PrEP. This was often linked with anticipated or expressed homophobia. PrEP interventions among PWID must focus on education and the confluence of stigmas in which PWID find themselves when considering PrEP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3085-3096
Number of pages12
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Volume25
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • HIV prevention
  • Healthcare access
  • People who inject drugs
  • PrEP
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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