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Awareness and Knowledge of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Among Sexual and Gender Minority Adolescents Assigned Male at Birth in the United States

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Sexual and gender minority (SGM) adolescents assigned male at birth are at increased risk for HIV infection. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a daily pill taken to prevent HIV, which the United States Food and Drug Administration approved for minors under age 18 years weighing at least 77.5 lb in 2018. A lack of awareness and knowledge of PrEP are barriers to uptake among adults and adolescents, but SGM adolescents’ awareness and knowledge about PrEP remain underexplored and no studies have assessed SGM adolescents’ informational needs. We collected data on 59 SGM adolescents’ (ages 14–18 years) awareness, knowledge, and questions about PrEP in an online survey and six online focus groups. Although a majority of SGM adolescents (83.1%) were aware of PrEP before the study, many wanted more information about side effects and how to navigate potential barriers to PrEP initiation. Findings can inform public health efforts to promote PrEP knowledge and uptake among SGM adolescents.

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We are grateful to the study participants and youth advisory council members who shared their time and perspectives with us; to Kyle Jozsa, Chris Garcia, and Luis Morales for their assistance with video development and narration; and finally, to Rich D’Aquila and Brian Mustanski for their mentorship on this project.


This research was supported by an administrative supplement to Kathryn Macapagal from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to the Third Coast Center for AIDS Research (P30 AI117943; PI: Richard D’Aquila).

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Conceptualization: MM and KM; methodology: MM and KM; data analysis and interpretation: MM, MNH, SC, KM, GG; writing–original draft preparation: MM, KM,and MNH; writing–review and editing: MM, KM, MNH, GG, SC; funding acquisition: KM.

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Correspondence to Kathryn Macapagal.

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Matson, M., Nery-Hurwit, M., Crosby, S. et al. Awareness and Knowledge of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Among Sexual and Gender Minority Adolescents Assigned Male at Birth in the United States. Arch Sex Behav 50, 1701–1711 (2021).

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