Background: Phase III trials of long-acting injectable (LAI) PrEP, currently underway, have great potential for expanding the menu of HIV prevention options. Imagining a future in which multiple PrEP modalities are available to potential users of biomedical HIV prevention, we investigated which factors might help direct a patient-physician shared-decision making process to optimize the choice of biomedical HIV prevention method.
Methods: Participants (n = 105; ages 19–63; 46.7% men of color) were former participants in a PrEP demonstration project and had taken daily oral PrEP for 12 months. Participants were given information about LAI PrEP and asked whether they would be interested in switching from oral to LAI PrEP. Participants were also asked about specific pros/cons of LAI PrEP, PrEP attitudes and experiences, and personality factors.
Results: Two-thirds (66.7%) of current oral PrEP users would switch to LAI PrEP. Intention to switch was associated with product-level and psychosocial factors. Attitudes towards logistical factors (i.e. getting to regular clinic visits for recurring shots) featured more prominently than factors related to the physical experience of PrEP modality (i.e., concerns about injection pain) as motivators for switching. In a multivariate regression model, psychosocial factors including the emotional burden of daily pill taking, deriving a sense of responsibility from PrEP use, and self-identifying as an early adopter, were the strongest predictors of switching.
Conclusions: These data underscore the importance of attending not only to product-level factors, but also to the logistical and psychological experience of prevention methods for users. Findings have significant implications for the development of patient education materials and patientprovider shared decision aids.