Barriers and Facilitators to PrEP Use Among People Who Inject Drugs in Rural Appalachia: A Qualitative Study

Sean T. Allen, Allison O’Rourke, Rebecca Hamilton White, Katherine C. Smith, Brian Weir, Gregory M. Lucas, Susan G. Sherman, Suzanne M. Grieb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The opioid crisis has increased risks for injection drug use-associated HIV outbreaks in rural communities throughout the United States. Existing research has examined pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) utilization among people who inject drugs (PWID); however, no studies have been conducted to explore barriers and facilitators of PrEP use among rural PWID in Appalachia. We conducted qualitative interviews with PWID (n = 48) in two rural counties in West Virginia to explore barriers and facilitators of PrEP use. Among our participants, the majority (68.8%) had never heard of PrEP. Upon learning about PrEP, most participants expressed willingness to use it. Rural PWID described several factors that may impede PrEP utilization (e.g., housing instability, forgetting to take PrEP). Participants also identified practical strategies to support sustained PrEP utilization, such as integrating PrEP services into venues PWID access. This research provides important insights into the barriers and facilitators of PrEP utilization among rural PWID.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1942-1950
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS and behavior
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Keywords

  • HIV
  • People who inject drugs
  • PrEP
  • Rural health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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