Frame PrEP as Part of a 'Healthy Sex Life' for Better Adherence

Brief, empowering messaging around pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) can lead to better medication adherence, new research has found. When PrEP counselors framed PrEP as part of a healthy sex life, new PrEP clients were significantly more likely to have high levels of adherence to the medication. This was true even among demographics that typically struggle with adherence including young people and people of color.

"Small and simple shifts to 'treatment as usual' can increase PrEP adherence," said Sarit Golub, Ph.D., M.P.H., from Hunter College. "And brief PrEP counseling interventions can be integrated into real-world practice."

The PrEP messages, which Golub described last month at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, did a few things. The first message, which Golub called the Sexual Health Intervention, framed PrEP as part of a healthy and fulfilling sex life and stressed the client's agency in choosing PrEP for themselves (as opposed to having a provider identify them as an 'appropriate' candidate for PrEP).

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