Efficacy of a PrEP uptake & Adherence Intervention among male sex workers using a 2-stage randomization design

Principal Investigator: Katie Biello, PhD, MPH
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute of Nursing Research
Grant Number: R01NR020227

Male sex workers (MSWs), or men who exchange sex for money, goods, drugs, or other items of value with other men, are at exceptionally high risk for HIV infection. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is effective at reducing HIV acquisition among HIV uninfected individuals, but its efficacy is highly dependent on uptake and excellent adherence. However, uptake of and adherence to PrEP among those who might benefit the most from using PrEP, such as MSWs, remains suboptimal. A successful PrEP uptake and adherence package must be responsive and tailored to MSWs’ distinct psychosocial and contextual circumstances.

Conceptual Model: The “PrEPare for Work” intervention is based on Social Cognitive Therapy (SCT), which specifies a core set of mechanisms that influence health behavior with a primary emphasis on self-regulation and self-reflection, including self-efficacy.

Overview of Study Design: We now propose to test the efficacy of the “PrEPare for Work” package in the Greater Providence area and in Los Angeles County using a two-stage randomization design.
Stage 1: 500 MSW will be equally randomized to receive either the “PrEPare for Work Stage 1 intervention” (strength-based case management and facilitated PrEP linkage) or standard of care to evaluate successful PrEP uptake (verified by real-time tenofovir urinalysis; prescription data) within 2 months.
Stage 2: Those who initiate PrEP (n~156; ~55% from Stage 1 intervention arm and ~20% from Stage 1 SOC arm) will be equally re-randomized to the “PrEPare for Work Stage 2 intervention” (1-on-1 skills training, problem solving, and motivational interviewing adherence counseling and personalized, daily text messaging reminders) or SOC to assess PrEP adherence (tenofovir concentration in hair sample) and retention in PrEP care (appointments attended) over 12 months. We will also examine the degree to which improvements in PrEP uptake and adherence occur in the context of the conceptual mediators (e.g., PrEP motivation, self-efficacy) and moderators (e.g., race/ethnicity, substance use, perceived HIV risk) of the intervention. Intervention cost-effectiveness will be assessed.

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