AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 1893–1903 | Cite as

Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Awareness and Use Within High HIV Transmission Networks

  • Kellie Schueler
  • Matthew Ferreira
  • Georgios Nikolopoulos
  • Britt Skaathun
  • Dimitrios Paraskevis
  • Angelos Hatzakis
  • Samuel R. Friedman
  • John A. SchneiderEmail author
Original Paper


Improved implementation of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) should be a valuable tool within communities experiencing high HIV incidence, such as black men who have sex with men (MSM). Using baseline data from the Chicago arm of the Transmission Reduction Intervention Project (TRIP), we examined awareness and use of PrEP within HIV potential transmission networks. Transmission Reduction Intervention Project recruited participants ages 18–69 (N = 218) during 2014–2016 from networks originating from recently and chronically HIV-infected MSM and transgender persons. In total, 53.2% of participants had heard of PrEP, while 8 (6.5%) HIV-negative participants reported ever using PrEP. In multivariable regression, PrEP awareness was associated with identifying as gay, attending some college or higher, having an HIV test in the previous 6 months, and experiencing HIV-related social support. PrEP awareness was not associated with experiencing or observing HIV-related stigma. PrEP use was associated with participants knowing two or more other PrEP-users. These findings demonstrate moderate awareness, but low uptake of PrEP within HIV potential transmission networks in Chicago. Future research should explore how to increase PrEP use in these networks and investigate the social dynamics behind our finding that PrEP users are more likely to know other PrEP users.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) Men who have sex with men (MSM) Network analysis African American Black 



Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse under Award Number DP1DA034989 and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases under award number R01AI136056. Ten percent of the funding was provided by federal sources, while 90% was provided by The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

Ethical Approval

Institutional Review Boards of participating institutions approved all research activities related to this study ( identifier: NCT01827228). We obtained written informed consent from all study participants. Participants were educated about HIV prevention during the intervention and were connected to appropriate health care or other supportive services when needed. All protocols and policies for this study were approved by the Institutional Review Board at the University of Chicago. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kellie Schueler
    • 1
  • Matthew Ferreira
    • 2
  • Georgios Nikolopoulos
    • 3
  • Britt Skaathun
    • 4
  • Dimitrios Paraskevis
    • 5
  • Angelos Hatzakis
    • 5
  • Samuel R. Friedman
    • 6
  • John A. Schneider
    • 1
    • 2
    • 7
    Email author
  1. 1.Pritzker School of MedicineUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Chicago Center for HIV EliminationUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Medical SchoolUniversity of CyprusNicosiaCyprus
  4. 4.Division of Global Public Health, Department of MedicineUniversity of California San DiegoSan DiegoUSA
  5. 5.Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Medical SchoolNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece
  6. 6.National Development and Research InstitutesNew York CityUSA
  7. 7.Department of MedicineUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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