Yale University

Who's On Board: Parent, Child, and Provider Attitudes towards the Feasibility of PrEP Uptake among Adolescents

Funder: National Institute of Mental Health
Project period: 07/31/2017 - 07/12/2018
Grant Type: Pilot Project

Abstract Text:

The risk for HIV infection among adolescents remains a major public health problem. Approximately 22% of new HIV diagnoses are represented among youth aged 13 to 24 years old. Each year one in four adolescents contract a sexually transmitted infection which also puts them at risk for HIV infection. For almost three decades, behavioral interventionists have targeted adolescent sexual risk behaviors with mixed results regarding intervention efficacy. Movement towards combined biomedical HIV prevention interventions has prompted the current research, in which we plan to gain a better understanding about knowledge and receptivity to biomedical prevention interventions, particularly the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among adolescents. PrEP, deemed the “HIV prevention pill”, has shown remarkable results in HIV transmission efficacy trials among high-risk populations (e.g., men who have sex with men, serodiscordant couples). In the current proposal, we plan to conduct a mixed methods study with 25 medical providers to assess behavioral and organizational factors that impact prescribing PrEP to adolescents and 25 parents/guardians to gauge PrEP awareness, attitudes, facilitators and barriers to PrEP uptake among adolescents through use of focus groups. We will also administer a Qualtrics-based survey to 200 adolescents to gauge sexual risk behaviors, psychosocial factors, PrEP awareness, attitudes, and beliefs. The data will help inform the research community about the concerns regarding PrEP uptake from the perspective of adolescents and parents/guardians, in addition to factors that impact medical providers in their receptivity and preparedness to prescribe PrEP to adolescents. This study also has implications for implementation of PrEP prevention intervention among adolescents and other high-risk communities.