Rael CT, Martinez M, Giguere R, Bockting W, MacCrate C, Mellmen W, Valente P, Greene GJ, Sherman SG, Footer, KHA, D’Aquila RT, Carballo-Dieguez A, Hope TJ. Transgender Women's Concerns and Preferences on Potential Future Long-Acting Biomedical HIV Prevention Strategies: The Case of Injections and Implanted Medication Delivery Devices (IMDDs). AIDS Behav. 2020 May;24(5):1452-1462. doi: 10.1007/s10461-019-02703-5. PMID: 31654172; PMCID: PMC7181384.
There are several long-acting biomedical HIV prevention products in the development pipeline, including injections and implanted medication delivery devices (IMDDs). It is critical to understand concerns and preferences on the use of these products in populations that shoulder a disproportionate burden of the HIV epidemic, such as transgender women. This will allow researchers and public health professionals to construct interventions tailored to the needs of these women to promote optimal use of these tools. In studies of other biomedical HIV prevention products (e.g., oral PrEP) it is clear that transgender women have unique concerns related to the use of these strategies. This may have an impact on this group's uptake and sustained use of longacting HIV prevention products. This study conducted four focus groups with N = 18 transgender women in New York City to understand their concerns and preferences on long-acting PrEP injections and IMDDs. Findings showed that participants were overwhelmingly positive about long-acting HIV prevention strategies, though they had some apprehensions. Overall, participants felt that injections and IMDDs could help address adherence challenges, and that transgender-specific needs should be addressed during clinical trials. Also, there were concerns related to injection or IMDD logistics, concerns about injections' or IMDDs' presence in the body, and familiarity with these products affected participants' opinions on them. Findings from this work can be used to inform protocols, measures, materials, and adherence interventions in future initiatives for transgender women using PrEP injections or IMDDs.