Identifying community-informed language to promote HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (Prep) in black LGBTQ communities in Baltimore

Errol L. Fields, Amanda Long, Kehinde Bademosi, Ricky Granderson, Christina M. Schumacher, Aruna Chandran, Yvonne Kingon, Jacky M. Jennings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


LGBTQ populations, particularly Black men who have sex with men and transgender women, experience significant HIV disparities; public health messages may inadvertently stigmatize LGBTQ populations. We sought to use qualitative methods to inform a PrEP campaign. Unstructured focus groups were conducted among predominantly Black LGBTQ persons re-cruited through social media and events. Discussions were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed in NVivo using categorical analysis. Eighty individuals participated in 13 focus groups; 80% (64) identified as sexual or gender minorities. Eighty-eight percent (70) identified as Black/African American. Four themes emerged: (1) culturally competent, communityinformed, locally relevant messaging, (2) avoiding stigmatizing language or images, (3) inaccessibility of clinical language, and (4) using identity labels representing local communities and their diversity. Findings suggest PrEP campaigns need to be developed through community-informed processes to engage and avoid stigmatizing priority populations. Ongoing partnerships between public health and LGBTQ communities can facilitate development of campaigns with engaging, acceptable language.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-168
Number of pages17
JournalAIDS Education and Prevention
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020


  • Black/African American
  • Community engagement
  • HIV disparities
  • Public health messaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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