Attitudes and Perceptions of Biomedical HIV Prevention Methods: Voices from Young MSM.

Kubicek K, Arauz-Cuadra C, Kipke MD.
Original Article:


In the third decade of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States, the prevalence rates of new HIV infections among young men who have sex with men (YMSM) continue to increase. As new and emerging HIV prevention methods are developed, it is important to understand the perceptions of this vulnerable population-as they may be an ideal target for these intervention methods. This pilot study provides an overview of YMSM of color’s awareness and perceptions of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and rectal microbicides (RM). A total of 6 focus groups were convened with 53 YMSM (23 Latino/Hispanic and 30 Black/African American). Findings indicate a lack of knowledge of biomedical interventions and high perceived acceptability. Concerns regarding PrEP included potential side effects, potential for misinterpretation of its use and cost. RMs were perceived to be more acceptable than PrEP, but the limited knowledge about their potential was emphasized by YMSM. Results are discussed in relation to the need for providers to continue to provide general health education about safe sexual practices. As PrEP and other biomedical interventions are introduced into community settings, caution should be taken with regards to determining the appropriate target user and sufficient education.

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