Mental Health, Social Influences, And HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Utilization Among Men And Transgender Individuals Screening For HIV Prevention Trials

Abstract [from journal]

The effects of mental health comorbidities and social support on the HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) care continuum are unknown. We conducted a cross-sectional study of men and transgender individuals, ≥ 18 years-old, with ≥ 2 male or transgender partners, or recent condomless anal intercourse. Surveys assessed demographics, mental health treatment, depressive symptomatology, social support, and PrEP-related social contacts. Logistic regression assessed associations between these factors and PrEP uptake and persistence. Participants (n = 247) were 89% cis-male and 46% African-American. Median age was 27 (IQR:23-33). Thirty-seven percent had ever used PrEP, of whom 18% discontinued use. High depressive symptomology was identified in 11% and 9% were receiving mental health treatment. There were no significant associations between depressive symptoms or mental health treatment on the odds of PrEP uptake or discontinuation. Each additional PrEP contact conferred a greater odds of uptake (aOR:1.24, 95% CI: 1.09-1.42). Network-level targets may produce fruitful interventions to increase PrEP uptake.