Background: Advances in biomedical prevention strategies provide new opportunities for reducing HIV incidence among young black men who have sex with men (YBMSM). Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is for HIV negative individuals and has been shown to be up to 99% effective in preventing HIV infection when taken as prescribed by CDC clinical practice guidelines. Several studies, however, have documented low rates of PrEP uptake among YBMSM.
Methods: PrEP Chicago is a randomized controlled trial peer leader intervention designed to promote uptake of PrEP for HIV prevention among YBMSM. Participants (n=423) were recruited using respondent-driven sampling (RDS) and randomized to either an intervention (n=209) or control (n=214) condition. Eligibility criteria included: aged 18-35, identifies as a person of color, assigned male sex at birth, had sex with a man in the past 12 months, had an active Facebook profile, and resided in Chicago. The intervention includes a half-day, small group PrEP and peer leader training workshop followed by monthly check-in booster calls. Approximately 12 months after their initial baseline visit, participants return to complete follow-up data collection and switch conditions, giving Year 1 control participants the opportunity to learn about PrEP.
Number of HIV- intervention participants on PrEP at baseline vs. 12-month follow-up (PrEP Chicago Study, Chicago, 2016-2018).
A total of 341 participants (80.6%) returned at 12 months. Of 209 intervention participants at baseline, 176 (84.2%) completed a follow-up survey at 12 months. At baseline, 13 (13.3%) of 98 HIV-negative intervention participants indicated that they were currently taking PrEP. At 12-months, this number grew to 25 (32.5%) of 77 HIV-negative intervention participants indicated that they were currently taking PrEP. A total of 21 participants reported initiating PrEP during their time in the intervention.
Conclusion: PrEP is a valuable biomedical intervention for preventing HIV infection in those at risk. PrEP Chicago, a network intervention designed to promote uptake of PrEP among YBMSM, shows promising results for PrEP adoption among this community.
J. Schneider, None