Abstract: Individual and Social Network Factors Influence on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Use Among High-Risk Women (Society for Social Work and Research 23rd Annual Conference - Ending Gender Based, Family and Community Violence)

Individual and Social Network Factors Influence on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Use Among High-Risk Women

Thursday, January 17, 2019: 4:15 PM
Union Square 20 Tower 3, 4th Floor (Hilton San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Whitney Sewell, MSW, Doctoral Candidate, Washington University in Saint Louis, St. Louis, MO
Kimberly Parker, PhD, Associate Professor, Texas Woman's University, Denton, TX
Background: Oral daily pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), is a prevention method for HIV-negative individuals that has been shown to reduce HIV acquisition risk by more than 90%. Despite its known efficacy PrEP awareness and uptake among high-risk women in the United States is low.  “Be PrEPared” is an online health education intervention that aims to increase knowledge and awareness about PrEP among women of color. This study used data from the “Be PrEPared” study to examine the role of social network members on potential PrEP uptake within a sample of adult women.

Methods: This study sample included 995 respondents (mean age 29.9) with Latina (n=700), African American (n=258) and White (n=204) cis-gendered HIV-negative women. Potential PrEP uptake was measured using a dichotomous variable: “I would take PrEP to prevent the spread of HIV” (yes/no). Social network predictors of PrEP uptake included yes/no responses to whether sexual partners, peers, family, or providers would approve of the respondent using PrEP, and whether the respondent would use PrEP if it were recommended by the network members.

Results: Overall, 95 percent of the sample reported they would take PrEP to prevent HIV-infection. Multivariate models were constructed to adjust for age, income, and education, as well as HIV knowledge, testing, and attitudes towards condom use. Results indicated that approval and recommendations from social network members including family (OR 3.86, p=0.03), peers (OR 4.21, p=0.02), and providers (OR 10.9, p<.001) significantly increased the odds of potential PrEP uptake.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates the importance of social network members in potential PrEP uptake among adult women. It is important to integrate the role or peer, family, and provider support into PrEP uptake and adherence campaigns. These data are especially important given the low PrEP awareness and uptake among high-risk adult women in the United States.