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Beliefs Associated with Intention to Use PrEP Among Cisgender U.S. Women at Elevated HIV Risk


Women comprise 19% of those newly diagnosed with HIV in the U.S. There is a wide gap between recommended use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and actual uptake among women who are eligible for PrEP. In order to identify women’s beliefs and intentions about starting PrEP, a survey, informed by the reasoned action approach, was administered to 160 cisgender PrEP-eligible women, age 18–55, in Philadelphia and New York City. The mean age was 40.2 years (SD = 11.78), 44% had completed high school, 75% were unemployed, and 85% experienced financial instability in the past 3 months. Multivariate linear regression analyses identified sets of behavioral and normative beliefs associated with intention to start PrEP in the next 3 months. Behavioral beliefs reflected views about PrEP benefits such as preventing HIV, and normative beliefs reflected perceptions of support or lack thereof from others including partners, friends, mother, and children. These findings can be used to inform interventions to foster greater PrEP uptake among women.

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Anne M. Teitelman and Deepti Chittamuru have contributed equally to this work. The authors thank the participants who agreed to take part in this research and the members of our Community Consulting Group. The authors also thank the outstanding staff who made this work possible.


This study was funded by 1R34MH108437-01A1 (PI: A. Teitelman) and P30 AI 045008 (PI: J. Hoxie).

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Correspondence to Anne M. Teitelman.

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All procedures were performed in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee (University of Pennsylvania Institutional Review Board Protocol # 825256 and New York Blood Center IRBNet # is 917035) and NIH (Certificate of Confidentiality from NIH # CC-MH-16-257) and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Teitelman, A.M., Chittamuru, D., Koblin, B.A. et al. Beliefs Associated with Intention to Use PrEP Among Cisgender U.S. Women at Elevated HIV Risk. Arch Sex Behav 49, 2213–2221 (2020).

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  • HIV
  • Women
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis
  • Beliefs
  • Intentions
  • Reasoned action approach