“We Feel Like Everybody's Going to Judge us”: Black Adolescent Girls’ and Young Women's Perspectives on Barriers to and Opportunities for Improving Sexual Health Care, Including PrEP, in the Southern U.S

Academic Article


  • Black adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) are disproportionately affected by HIV in the southern U.S.; however, PrEP prescriptions to Black AGYW remain scarce. We conducted in-depth interviews (IDIs) with Black AGYW ages 14-24 in Alabama to explore opportunities for and barriers to sexual health care including PrEP prescription. Twelve AGYW participated in IDIs with median age 20 (range 19-24). All reported condomless sex, 1-3 sexual partners in the past 3 months, and 6 reported prior STI. Themes included: 1) Stigma related to sex contributes to inadequate discussions with educators, healthcare providers, and parents about sexual health; 2) Intersecting stigmas around race and gender impact Black women's care-seeking behavior; 3) Many AGYW are aware of PrEP but don't perceive it as an option for them. Multifaceted interventions utilizing the perspectives, voices, and experiences of Black cisgender AGYW are needed to curb the HIV epidemic in Alabama and the U.S. South.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Pratt MC; Jeffcoat S; Hill SV; Gill E; Elopre L; Simpson T; Lanzi R; Matthews LT
  • Volume

  • 21