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Oral and vaginal HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis product attribute preferences among female sex workers in the Mexico-US border region.

  • Author(s): Pines, HA;
  • Strathdee, SA;
  • Hendrix, CW;
  • Bristow, CC;
  • Harvey-Vera, A;
  • Magis-Rodríguez, C;
  • Martinez, G;
  • Semple, SJ;
  • Patterson, TL
  • et al.

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To assess the potential uptake of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) products among female sex workers (FSWs) vulnerable to HIV infection, we examined the influence of product attributes on willingness to use products among 271 HIV-negative FSWs in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico (2016-2017). Via five-point Likert scale ratings, participants indicated their willingness to use hypothetical products with six attributes: formulation (pill, gel, liquid, or ring), frequency of use (daily, on-demand, or monthly), cost per use (10 or 200 pesos), effectiveness (40% or 80%), side effects (none or mild), and access point (healthcare clinic or non-governmental organization). Conjoint analysis was used to determine the impact of attributes on product ratings and identify preferred product attributes. Multinomial logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with formulation preferences. In both cities, formulation and frequency of use had the greatest impact on ratings. Participants in Ciudad Juarez indicated a strong preference for oral pills, whereas participants in Tijuana indicated roughly equal preferences for oral pills and vaginal gels. Monthly product use was preferred in both cities. Compared to preferring oral pills (38%), preferring vaginal gels (28%) was associated with practicing vaginal lubrication (adjusted odds ratio = 2.08; 95% confidence interval: 1.07-4.04). Oral PrEP may be acceptable to many FSWs in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez; however, continued development of behaviorally-congruent vaginal PrEP products may also facilitate uptake and ensure sufficient coverage.

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