“Let’s take that [stop sign] down.” Provider perspectives on barriers to and opportunities for PrEP prescription to African American girls and young women in Alabama

Academic Article


  • HIV disproportionately impacts many groups, including Black adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) aged 13–24 living in the Deep South. Current prevention efforts have the potential to further exacerbate disparities within this population as HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) remains underutilized by Black AGYW in the South. We conducted in-depth interviews (IDIs) grounded in Andersen’s Model of Healthcare Utilization exploring providers’ PrEP prescribing practices to Black AGYW in Alabama. Eleven providers completed IDIs exploring providers’ PrEP prescription knowledge and experiences. Cross-cutting themes included: (1) Community and provider-level stigmas (including those propagated by legislation) relating to HIV and sexuality limit sexual health discussions with Black AGYW clients; (2) Low PrEP knowledge and comfort with guidelines limits PrEP conversations and reinforces low uptake and prescriptions; (3) Healthcare systems and structural barriers impede PrEP access for youth. Multi-level (structural, community, and provider) barriers to PrEP prescription demands high activation energy for providers to prescribe PrEP. We present recommendations in training in sexual health assessment, updates to PrEP guidelines to accommodate risk assessment appropriate for AGYW, and increased implementation science focused on PrEP prescription for Black AGYW in order to reduce HIV incidence for this population.
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    Author List

  • Hill SV; Pratt MC; Elopre L; Smith TV; Simpson T; Lanzi R; Matthews LT